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Quattrone Center 2024 Spring Symposium

2024 Spring Symposium

From Anguish to Action: Improving Criminal System Accuracy

Relive the 2024 Quattrone Center Spring Symposium
From Anguish to Action: Improving Criminal System Accuracy—a two-day criminal justice reform conference curated by the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, held April 3-4, 2024. Since its inception, the Quattrone Center has advocated for a “Systems Approach” to improving the quality and accuracy of the criminal justice system, working with police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, courts, and others to learn from our errors and ensure that innocent people are not convicted of crimes they didn’t commit.

Over 950 attendees gathered at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and virtually for 11 thought-provoking panels, roundtables, and presentations on critical issues facing our criminal system including an incredible Keynote Conversation with NBC News’ Lester Holt and Dan Slepian, and a Keynote Address by Quattrone Center Exoneree Fellow Shereef Cousin.
The symposium covered diverse panel topics including Evaluating Collaborative Conviction Review Projects, Indigent Defense Funding, Improving Police Interviews, Transparency in Quality, and Ethics Boards and Prosecutorial Immunity, among others.




Improving Police Interviews

Moderator: Marissa Bluestine, Quattrone Center
Matt Jones, Evocavi, LLC
Dr. Christian Meissner, Iowa State University
Tami Tavarez, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department


Court No-Shows: The Systemic Challenge of Failures-to-Appear 

Moderator: Sandy Mayson, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School
Eleni Belisonzi, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Rachel Echemendia, Defender Association of Philadelphia
William Fritze, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
Lindsay Graef, University of Pennsylvania


Keynote Address | Shareef Cousin

Quattrone Center Exoneree Fellow; Witness to Innocence



Evaluating Collaborative Conviction Review Projects and Hearing from Practitioners in the Trenches

Quattrone Center evaluation team members Kia Hayes and Taylor Migliori share the findings of their groundbreaking evaluation of collaborative conviction review projects, completed alongside criminology Prof. Charles Loeffler. In addition, 2019 collaborators Ann Garant and Marla Mitchell-Cichon, of the Cooley Law School Innocence Project, and Robyn Frankel and Lori Montgomery, of the Michigan Attorney’s Office’s CIU will discuss the strategies and lessons learned from their partnership.

Moderators: Kia Hall Hayes, Community Legal Services (former Quattrone Center Evaluation Manager) & Taylor Migliori, Quattrone Center
Robyn Frankel, Michigan Department of Attorney General
Ann Garant, Cooley Innocence Project
Marla Mitchell-Cichon, Cooley Law School Innocence Project



How Trauma Affects Conviction Review Staff: Personal Experiences and Paths Forward

Please note, due to its sensitive nature, this panel was not recorded.

This panel explores the personal experiences of conviction review staff through the lens of three traumatic outcomes: When relief is denied, when DNA results are inculpatory, and when an applicant dies unexpectedly. The panel will also discuss the creation and work of the Innocence Network Secondary Trauma Resources Committee.

Moderator: Adina Thompson, Quattrone Center
Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County (MO) Prosecutor’s Office
Arielle Demby Berger, Broward (FL) State Attorney’s Office
Isabel Corngold
Melissa Montle, Orleans (LA) Parish District Attorney’s Office
Shawnee Ziegler, Arizona Justice Project

Ballistics – the latest

Moderator: John Hollway, Quattrone Center
Radley Balko, Journalism Fellow, Quattrone Center
Maria Cuellar, University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology
Richard Gutierrez, Forensic Science Division, Law Office of the Cook County (IL) Public Defender




Indigent Defense Funding

The U.S. criminal system is premised on the notion that a robust adversarial process can promote accuracy, but what if the one side lacks the resources to fulfill its intended role? This panel brings together three thought-leaders—one legislative, one academic, and one practitioner—to explore challenges and recent successes related to the funding of indigent defense.

Moderator: Paul Heaton, Quattrone Center
Rodney Ellis, Commissioner, Harris County (TX) Precinct One
Keisha Hudson, Defender Association of Philadelphia
Ben Polk, NYU Law School, Bernstein Institute for Human Rights



Keynote Conversation | Narrative Matters: Raising the Voices of the Voiceless

Lester Holt | Anchor & Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt & Anchor, Dateline NBC
Dan Slepian | Supervising Producer, Dateline NBC & Podcast Host, Letters From Sing Sing


Transparency in Quality

Moderator: John Hollway, Quattrone Center
Peter Stout, Houston Forensic Science Center


After Exoneration

This panel explores post-release challenges faced by exonerees, and what can be done to reduce the stigma and lasting effects of wrongful conviction.
Moderator: Haley Sturges, Quattrone Center
Shawn Armbrust, Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
Jeff Kukucka, Towson University
Amy Shlosberg, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Chris Turner, Exonoree


Ethics Boards and Prosecutorial Immunity

Moderator: Ross Miller, Quattrone Center
Iris Eytan, Protect Ethical Prosecutors
Tom Farrell, Disciplinary Board of Pennsylvania
Cameron Oakes, Columbia Journalism Investigations