IPC News

In a 2010 report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010. Guardians also stole $5.4 million in assets from their wards in that period, the GAO said. (The GAO is currently working on an updated report.)

As the boomer population moves into old age, the numbers of people affected by guardianship and conservatorship will rise “tremendously,” said Jennifer Wright, a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis who directs the school’s Elder Law Practice Group.

“There are more of us who are going to enter the danger age,” she said.

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Watch the work of the Community Justice Project, Immigration Law Practice Group, and the Federal Commutations Clinic in action.
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More adults will be at risk of abuse as boomers enter 'the danger age.' Prof. Jennifer Wright, Director of the Elder Law Practice Group, speaks with Next Avenue.

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Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, along with other community members are calling for the resignations of Minneapolis Park Board President Liz Wielinski and Minneapolis Park Superintendent Jayne Miller.

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Prof. Osler, Director of Federal Commutations Clinic, writes for the Baltimore Sun along with Nkechi Taifa of the Open Society Foundations.
Clinton and Sanders should commit to clemency | The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2016

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Alex Hare and Bianca Jackson argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of our Immigration Appellate Clinic.
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Prof. Levy-Pounds comments in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press about the body camera bill.

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Listen to Professor Mark Osler speak of Criminal Justice Reform and Clemency on the AM950 podcast.

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Professor Osler comments in The Washington Post regarding his work with the Clemency Resource Center.

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Professor Osler, Director of the Federal Commutations Clinic, is featured in an article in Fusion regarding  the Obama Administration's Clemency policy.

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This good-looking bunch are the students and supervisors of the of the federal inmate clemency clinic at the law school at the University of St. Thomas. The clinic was founded by Professor Mark Osler, the speaker at Drinking Liberally in Minneapolis on April 28th.

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News

In May 1995, a group of nearly 200 religious leaders of multiple faiths issued a sharp statement calling for reversal of the U.S. Patent Office’s recent decision to issue patents on portions of the human genome and on several genetically engineered animals (most notably, a laboratory mouse especially susceptible to cancer). “[H]umans and animals are creations of God, not [of] humans,” the statement said, “and as such should not be patented as human inventions.

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How a mother, attorney, and occasional rapper named Nekima Levy-Pounds became one of the most prominent and divisive civil rights leaders in the state.

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The Religious Liberty Appellate Clinic files an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court this past week in its current First Amendment case, Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley.
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For the third consecutive year, the Ninth Circuit rules in favor of our Appellate Litigation Clinic. Congratulations to Greg Sisk and 3Ls Caitlin Drogemuller and Catherine Underwood.
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Prof. Levy-Pounds will be delivering the opening keynote at Leading Courageously for Racial Equity Conference in Minnesota State University, Mankato. The speech will focus on re-imagining public education.

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Less than a year after a Supreme Court verdict guaranteed same-sex marriage across the country, Christian conservatives and LGBT rights advocates remain at odds. The object of discontent: legislation that proponents say would guarantee the rights of people of faith to make hiring and employment decisions based on that faith, but which opponents claim would be used as a weapon to discriminate against LGBT people.

Christianity Today recognizes that Christians hold a broad array of perspectives on these issues and invited Thomas Berg, a religious liberty scholar, to share his thoughts on the bills’ cultural and legal context. Berg teaches at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis and has had his work cited by the Supreme Court.

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Law students working in the University of St. Thomas Bankruptcy Litigation Clinic helped a client avoid financial turmoil when a recent court decision was awarded in the woman’s favor.
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Community Justice Project News

The head of the Minneapolis NAACP [Prof. Levy-Pounds] on Monday called on authorities to reopen the Jamar Clark police shooting case and appoint a special prosecutor to lead the investigation.

The demand for a new probe came as the woman who was injured the night Clark was shot by police said she was not Clark's girlfriend, that he never hit her that night and that the prosecutor's narrative that justified Clark's shooting by Minneapolis police was fabricated.

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April 1, 2016, IN my pocket is something ancient: a 1,700-year-old Roman coin. It bears three human images and the word “Clementia.” That was the name of the Roman goddess of mercy, who was often depicted standing beside (and holding the hand of) the Roman emperor. The message was clear: Mercy was a virtue not only of individuals but also of governments. The framers of the United States Constitution embraced that tradition when they preserved for the president one of the traditional powers of kings: the pardon power.

That ancient ideal needs to be put into action by President Obama. Despite commuting on Wednesday the sentences of 61 federal prisoners convicted of drug and firearm crimes — bringing his total number of commutations to 248, more than that of his six predecessors combined — he is far from accomplishing the ambitious goals his administration publicly set out two years ago.

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Community Justice Project News

Activists upset with the decision not to prosecute officers say they're going to make it an election issue.

"We need for our government leaders, who have blood on their hands, who've been a part of rubber-stamping this system, to move out of the way, so that young leaders with a conscience can step forward and lead our city into the next millennium," NAACP Minneapolis president Nekima Levy-Pounds said after Wednesday's announcement

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Mark Osler, a University of St. Thomas law professor who was a former federal prosecutor in Detroit, said much of the evidence federal investigators are analyzing is likely to be similar to what was shared by Freeman on Wednesday.

“There’s a limited amount of video out there,” Osler said. “There’s a limited number of witnesses to have seen the events.”

But Heffelfinger said any federal criminal civil rights case must look well beyond what happened during the 61-second interaction between the officers and Clark.

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University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Mark Osler spoke at the White House on Thursday, March 31, to discuss and share ideas on President Barack Obama’s clemency initiative alongside other advocates, academics and Administration officials.

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Community Justice Project News

After Mr. Clark’s shooting on Nov. 15, protests disrupted Minneapolis for weeks. Demonstrators occupied the area outside a police station, marched downtown and raised questions about racial disparities in Minnesota. The demonstrators sometimes clashed with officers, and one night, the police said, several men who were not part of the demonstration came and shot five people during a protest.

After Wednesday’s announcement, protesters gathered at the courthouse, exchanging hugs, crying and vowing to return to the streets.

Mr. Clark was fatally shot in a confrontation with the police on Nov. 15. Credit Javille Burns, via Associated Press

“An injustice has been done today,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds, the president of the Minneapolis chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. “I believe they lie to us. I believe they tamper with evidence.”

 

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Community Justice Project News

Minneapolis NAACP head Nekima Levy-Pounds and other testifiers who opposed the bill said it didn’t matter that the state would operate the facility — it was still doing business with a private prison vendor.

“Who we do business with is just as important as the business we do,” Levy-Pounds said. “Doing business with the CCA is like doing business with the devil, because their practices are diabolical.”

Levy-Pounds also added that it seemed strange that unemployment was being debated in “a small, white rural town with an 8 percent unemployment rate,” but not in poor, inner-city minority communities — where unemployment rates are much higher, and extreme economic disparities “are fueling our incarceration rate.”

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Immigration Law Practice News

Prof. Wiebe, Director of the Immigration Law Practice Group, comments in the Star Tribune about private immigration detention centers.

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Counseling News

Carmeann Foster '12, one of our MSW graduates, recieves the 2016 Bush Fellowship!

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Federal Commutation News

A Conversation with a Former Prosecutor

While Jeanne, her family, and her friends, knew she had forgiven Biro, the killer himself had not heard from Jeanne. That would change following a conversation with Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor, and a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

“We were at dinner one night, and she was talking about David Biro, and one of the things that came up and she was struggling with how do you forgive someone who’s remorseless. I asked her, ‘how do you know that,’ because she’d never talked to him. She’d never said his name. And she said, ‘well, at trial, he denied everything.’ I said ‘that was when he was 16 years old, that was a long time ago.’ Two decades had passed since then. She had that moment of reflection,” Osler told Fox 9.

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Counseling News

Listen to Dukassa Lemu, MSW'15, describe his experience completing Clinic Field Placement at the IPC

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Community Justice Project News

“Our community is in a great deal of pain as a result of the shooting of Jamar Clark at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Nekima Levy-Pounds, president of the NAACP Minneapolis, said in a statement. “It’s imperative that we demand accountability and transparency, which includes being able to gain access to the video footage of this tragic incident.”

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Community Justice Project News

The NAACP and the ACLU say the release of the tapes is required under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, adding that the state of Minnesota opened the door to releasing the tapes when they showed at least one to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The NAACP says a lack of trust in the system is why they are taking the fight to court.

“We have a high level of distrust for how the system functions, and part of that has to do with the fact the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has a very poor track record – abysmal, in fact — of holding officers accountable for shooting civilians,” said Nekima Levy- Pounds, the president of the Minneapolis NAACP.

 

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News

"These are not easy questions that are being addressed, and because of that it does take an investment of time and resources," said University of St. Thomas law professor Mark Osler. "It's not the person; it's the process, and this administration has to realize that."

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News |

Co-Director George Baboila tweets a photo with Prof. Wiebe as he celebrates the new UST branding with Tommie the Tomcat.

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Clinical students from the University of St. Thomas School of Law Immigration Appellate Clinic secured a sweeping victory for their detained immigrant client this week, preserving the unity of his family.
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Recently, the U.S Supreme Court was asked to consider a case out of Colorado with significant religious freedom implications for religious schools and the families who want to send their children to such schools.
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It’s a drizzly, gray afternoon in April, and barely any light is filtering into the conference room at Cozen O’Connor in downtown Minneapolis. But Nadia Hasan, talking about her pro bono work, is shining.

“The people who work at that organization, and do the hands-on work, they’re amazing,” she says. The organization in question is the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project, which seeks legal solutions for domestic violence victims. As co-chair and board member, Hasan raises funds and visibility for the nonprofit.

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Within hours, a woman at the 4th Precinct protest took up a bullhorn and denounced "that press conference that Mayor Hodges did with the old guard leadership."
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Leaders of the weekslong protest outside Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct police station returned there Tuesday afternoon to call on officials to remove the barricades they had put up around the station — and to do more to help the city’s North Side.
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On August 6, at 7pm there is a Special Film Screening: Don't Tell Anyone (No Le Digas A Nadie), co-sponsored by the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services.
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University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Mark Osler recently announced the opening of a unique initiative, a pro-bono, pop-up law office. The Clemency Resource Center (CRC) will be open for only one year and will exclusively prepare petitions for federal clemency.

Osler calls the new operation a “factory of justice” and has the goal of addressing at least 300 clemency cases. The pop-up is housed and co-founded by the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University School of Law.

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Federal Commutation Clinic alumni and UST class of 2015 graduates, Jamie Waldon and Erik Hylok, accept jobs at the NYU Law Clemency Resource Center (CRC). Waldon and Hylok were hired "based largely on their passion for the project, their skill set, and their experience with Federal Commutation Clinic" says Prof. Osler, Director of the Federal Commutation Clinic and co-founder of the CRC.
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New York University School of Law is launching a yearlong pro bono law office that will help federal prisoners seek clemency. Seven full-time attorneys—primarily recent law school graduates—will begin handling prisoners’ applications in August.

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Dr. Artika Tyner, assistant professor of public policy and leadership in the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, has been named interim officer for diversity and inclusion. Tyner will take up the work begun by Dr. Calvin Hill earlier this year while a search for a permanent vice president of diversity and inclusion is conducted.

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Dr. Tyner writes of her work at the Interprofessional Center and the Public Policy Program in a feature for the American Bar Association, GIVING BACK: Training the Next Generation of Leaders.

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NYU School of Law announced the launch of the Clemency Resource Center (CRC), a pop-up law office within the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (CACL). The CRC was co-founded by Rachel Barkow, Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy at NYU Law, and Mark Osler, who holds the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas. Erin Collins, a former public defender and acting assistant professor at NYU Law, serves as executive director. Generously funded by Open Society Foundations, the CRC will begin work in August.
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Professor Berg Responds to Obergefell v. Hodges: Protect Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty Rights of Dissenters on Christian Today and America, The National Catholic Review.
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