Due process rights are our Constitution’s method of protecting individual liberty. But for any due process protection to achieve its intended outcome, accountability measures must exist in order to return law enforcement + prosecutorial climates into ones in which ethics, fairness, and restraint are valued.
Brief in Support of Appellants
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
In this amicus brief, we argue state licensing schemes that categorically bar individuals with prior criminal convictions from holding various professions are irrational. These restrictions—which bar individuals with prior convictions from finding gainful employment—are often unrelated to the jobs at hand; a person convicted of littering would be required to wait ten years before being able to obtain an EMT certification in California. In the name of rational basis review, courts should not uphold these policies that contribute to recidivism and hamper reentry efforts.
Filed with the DKT Liberty Project, Cato Institute, Collateral Consequences Resource Center, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, the Macarthur Justice Center, the R Street Institute, the Sentencing Project, and the National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Clause 40 Foundation also thanks Jessica Amunson and Caroline Cease of Jenner & Block for their pro bono work on this case.
Our 8-part series explored how to transform our criminal legal system from the inside out. The prosecutorial function and culture. Police misconduct and brutality. Incarceration. Racial justice. Juvenile justice. Survivors of crime. Economic inequity. Smarter sentencing. Safe communities. Supported communities. Come join our conversation!
Our advanced screening has concluded. But you can now watch Philly D.A. online or via your local PBS TV station, then watch our post-episode discussions among nationally recognized criminal justice experts! Panels available below.
Watch Shana O'Toole (Founder + President, Clause 40 Foundation / Due Process Institute), Keir Bradford-Grey (Chief Defender, Defender Association of Philadelphia), Somil Trivedi (Sr. Staff Attorney, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU), and Jessica Brand (Co-Director, Wren Collective) discuss transformational "reform" prosecution models, mass incarceration, civic engagement, and cash bail.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 1 (for context): In the Fall of 2017, Larry Krasner is campaigning to be District Attorney of Philadelphia, the most incarcerated big city in America. Krasner fires 10% of the old-guard Assistant District Attorneys, alienating the office he now leads. His team struggles with their first major announcement: a new policy on cash bail. At the end of the episode, his new Assistant District Attorneys discover hidden files of police officers unfit to be called to testify.
Watch Rebecca Brown (Director of Policy, Innocence Project), Kevann Gardner (Supervising Attorney, Trial Division, Public Defender Service for D.C.), Lisa Wayne (criminal defense lawyer / Past President, NACDL), and Clause 40 Foundation Board Member Blair Brown (Zuckerman Spaeder / former PDS) discuss transforming how prosecutors provide important information to the defense, and how to increase accountability and transparency regarding prosecutorial and police misconduct.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 2 (for context): Larry Krasner and his team battle the police for access to the complete misconduct files. Meanwhile, tensions over the District Attorney’s office culture boil over between new Assistant District Attorneys and the remaining hold-outs in the juvenile unit.
Watch Sajid A. Khan (San Jose Public Defender, host of the Aider & Abettor podcast), Kate Brubacher Murphy (Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Director of the Innovative Prosecution Solutions Grant, Jackson County), Marc Levin (Chief Policy Counsel, Council on Criminal Justice), and Kobie Flowers (civil rights attorney/criminal defense lawyer, Brown Goldstein & Levy) discuss reconciling criminal legal reforms with victim, survivor, and community restoration as well as public safety concerns.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 3 (for context): Larry Krasner campaigned on a historic pledge to end capital punishment in Philadelphia. His promise is put to the test when a police sergeant is murdered. Krasner faces pressure from the police union, the slain officer’s family, and his own District Attorneys to pursue the death penalty.
Watch formerly incarcerated activists LaTonya Myers (Founder, Above All Odds) and Chris Ervin (Founder, The Lazarus Rite, Inc), with Erin Haney (Policy Director, Reform Alliance; Senior Counsel, Dream Corps), Prof. Howard Henderson (Founding Director, Center for Justice Research, Texas Southern University), and Clause 40 Foundation Board Member / former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman discuss transforming parole and probation systems.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 4 (for context): Formerly incarcerated activist LaTonya Myers begins her dream job at the public defender's office. Yet she’s also starting a 10-year probation sentence. The District Attorney’s team tackles systemic probation reforms, facing off against judges who embrace the status quo of excessive supervision. Meanwhile, Myers advocates for her own freedom.
Watch Prof. Kristin Henning (Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law), Nila Bala (Associate Director, Criminal Justice & Civil Liberties at R Street Institute), Michael McNeely (Executive, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice), and DC attorney Brandi Harden (Harden & Pinckney) discuss transforming our juvenile legal system.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 5 (for context): Larry Krasner reviews the case of Joseph Chamberlain, who was sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile for murdering another teenager in 1992. Joseph’s family hopes for his release, while the parents of the victim of his crime grapple with forgiveness. Meanwhile, Krasner is blamed for the city’s spiking homicide rate. He struggles to persuade people of systemic solutions to public safety.
Watch Jason Pye (Director, Rule of Law Initiatives, Due Process Institute), Inimai Chettiar (Federal Director, Justice Action Network), Aamra Ahmad (Senior Policy Counsel, Justice Division, ACLU), and Kevin Ring (President, FAMM) discuss transforming our federal criminal legal system to be more effective, more efficient, and more fair.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 6 (for context): By the summer of 2019, crime continues to rise. Some police and community members blame Larry Krasner’s policies. Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez guides Krasner through the politics of Kensington, the neighborhood at the center of the heroin and violence epidemics. But Krasner’s attempts to assuage the public backfire and risk alienating his allies.
Watch Patrice Sulton (Founder + Executive Director of DC Justice Lab), Akhi Johnson (Deputy Director, Reshaping Prosecution Program, Vera Institute of Justice), Jonathan M. Smith (Executive Director, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs / former Chief, Special Litigation Section, Civil Rights Division, DOJ ), and Jonathan Blanks (Contributing Editor, Clause 40 Foundation) discuss transforming our responses to police misconduct and brutality.
Recap of Philly D.A. Episode 7 (for context): Larry Krasner’s team makes history: they charge an on-duty police officer with murder for shooting a Black man in the back. The family of the victim hopes for justice. Yet Krasner’s prosecution faces an uphill battle because of the police union and state laws that protect police.
Join C40 Board Member and former Chief of the Special Litigation Section of the Public Defender Service for D.C. Tim O'Toole as he moderates an intimate discussion between D.A. Larry Krasner (Philadelphia, PA), D.A. Rachel Rollins (Suffolk County, MA), D.A. Jose Garza (Travis County, TX), and Commonwealth's Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (Arlington County + City of Falls Church, VA) regarding these new prosecutors' triumphs and their ongoing challenges.
Recap of Philly D.A. episode (for context): Larry Krasner recruits law students to become the next generation of "progressive prosecutors." The activists who campaigned for Krasner’s election are frustrated with the slowing pace of change. After the police murder of George Floyd in 2020, Philadelphians take to the streets, reflecting on the potential and pitfalls of systemic change emanating from their District Attorney’s office.
Clause 40 Foundation does not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. The "Philly, D.A." docuseries from PBS, ITVS, and Independent Lens, concerns one particular office’s prosecutorial approach and we are presenting it to the public free of charge as part of an educational campaign on transforming the prosecutorial role to ensure a fairer and more effective criminal legal system. Our corresponding panels use the general topics raised in each episode to explore a wide variety of criminal justice topics and do not constitute electioneering activity. Any particular panelist's involvement with our program should not be inferred as support of, or opposition to, any particular candidate for office and any candidate’s appearance is in their non-candidate capacity as a prosecutor or attorney. All panelists’ statements are to be attributed to the individual, not the host organization nor other panelists.
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