Our distinguished panel will be discussing the bail system and how it may or may not benefit from an overhaul of the criminal justice policies that disproportionately disadvantage people of color and the poor.
The panel will also discuss whether requiring a defendant to pay for his or her freedom violates the promise of equal access to justice under the U.S. Constitution and whether that conflicts with federal standards that require judges to impose the least restrictive release conditions that assure community safety and a defendant’s return to court.
Whether the bail system forces many people facing nonviolent or low-level charges to remain in jail when they could be released. Whether the bail system has contributed to jail overcrowding, with an increasing number of people spending longer periods behind bars without being convicted of a crime.
United States Magistrate Judge, Karla R. Spaulding Karla R. Spaulding was appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division in December 1997. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Western Michigan University in 1975, and a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law in 1980. While in law school, she served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. From 1983 through 1993, Judge Spaulding was an Assistant United States Attorney, serving as Chief of the Drug Trafficking Section and, later, Chief of the Appellate Division in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida, and Chief of the Fraud Section in the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas. From 1980 to 1983, and 1994 through 1997, Judge Spaulding was a trial and appellate lawyer in private practice. She represented plaintiffs in class actions and intellectual property matters and represented defendants in civil and criminal matters.
Executive Director, Phil Telfeyan Phil Telfeyan founded Equal Justice Under Law in 2014. He’s a Harvard Law graduate who served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice for 5 years. A dynamic trial attorney, Mr. Telfeyan believes that the American money bail system is an unconstitutional wealth-based detention scheme that results in two systems of justice: one for the rich and another for everyone else. He says, “Jailing people simply because they are too poor to afford a monetary payment offends basic principles of fairness that are deeply rooted in our society.” Equal Justice Under Law is a legal nonprofit dedicated to achieving equality in our justice system by challenging wealth-based discrimination. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are etched onto the façade of the United States Supreme Court. However, too often our legal system falls short of that goal, especially for people living in poverty. We provide the highest quality pro bono legal services to those most in need. Since our founding, we have filed 28 lawsuits in 13 states and the District of Columbia. So far, these lawsuits have achieved fundamental change across 6 states.
Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten A native of the Chicago area, Judge Lauten received his bachelor’s degree in history in 1975 and his MBA in 1976 — both from Rollins College. He received his Juris Doctor from Villanova University in 1979. Judge Lauten worked as an assistant state attorney in the Ninth Judicial Circuit for more than 10 years before being appointed to the Orange County bench in 1993. Since being appointed to the circuit bench in 1999, Judge Lauten has served as an administrative judge for both the circuit criminal and circuit civil divisions. Off the bench, Judge Lauten has been an advocate for judicial education. He served as dean of the Florida Judicial College from 2006 to 2012, and currently serves as chairman of the Education Committee of the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges.
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