September 2008: Criminal Defense of the Poor in the U.S. and Connecticut
Guest Speakers: Attorney Susan O. Storey, CT Chief Public Defender; Professor Gerard Smyth, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Former CT Chief Public Defender
Susan O. Storey and Gerard Smyth spoke on the subject of Criminal Defense of the Poor in the U.S. and Connecticut. They addressed the right to counsel, the State’s constitutional obligation to provide counsel for indigent accused, the public defense systems, particularly in difficult economic times. Attorney Storey also gave an overview of the Connecticut Public Defender system and its success in contronfronting thse challenges and in providing quality legal services to all accused persons, regardless of their ability to pay.
October 2008: Juvenile Justice in Connecticut
Guest Speaker: Attorney Christine Rapillo, Director of Juvenile Delinquency Defense, Office of the Chief Public Defender
Christine Rapillo spoke to CCSU students about the current state of the juvenile criminal justice system. Rapillo emphasized the state’s goal to discipline teenagers who have broken the law and get them back in school for a proper education.
November 2008: Contemporary Issues Surrounding the Death Penalty
Guest Speakers: Patrick J. Culligan, Chief of Capital Defence & Trial Services, Office of Chief Public Defender; Cynthia Ayres, Mitigation Specialist, Capital Defense & Trial Services Unit
Patrick Culligan and Cynthia Ayres provided insight into defending a convicted criminal that faces the possibility of a capital punishment sentence. Also discussed was an overview of landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings regarding capital punishment.