Friday, September 28, 2012

David Shipler speaks to Justice and Legal Studies students about assistance of counsel and the judicial system

David K. Shipler, author of The Working Poor: Invisible in America, one of the UAA/APU Books of the Year for 2011-2013, made two special presentations to Justice and Legal Studies students on September 25 and September 26 during his recent visit to Anchorage as part of the Books of the Year program.

Mr. Shipler discusses disparities in assistance of counsel.

On September 25, Mr. Shipler addressed Justice Center students on the topic of  “The Assistance of Counsel in the U.S.: Your Rights at Risk.”  The presentation was open to all students and was held  in Prof. Jason Brandeis' Introduction to Law class.   Mr. Shipler described the checkerboard situation that exists in the U.S. regarding the quality of legal representation that people receive. If you are poor, your geographic location in this country, as well as whether your case is in federal or state court, are predominant factors determining the level of legal representation you will get. Mr. Shipler gave specific examples of cases and the outcomes for the defendants.

L to r: Prof. Deb Periman thanks Mr. Shipler for sharing his insights with the students.

The next day, Mr. Shipler engaged in a question and answer session with students in Prof. Deb Periman's  Legal Ethics class and Dr. Ron Everett's Justice Theory and Policy Analysis class about the jury system, prosecutorial and judicial discretion, sentencing guidelines, and sentencing disparities.

Mr. Shipler listens as a student asks about the role of juries.

L to r: Prof. Deb Periman, Justice faculty; David Shipler;
and Dr. Ron Everett, Justice faculty.
Mr. Shipler has worked as a journalist for "The New York Times," and has written for "The New Yorker," "The Washington Post," and the "Los Angeles Times."  He won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, and has taught at Princeton University, American University in Washington, D.C., and at Dartmouth College.