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Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice

Quattrone Center 2014 Spring Symposium: A Systems Approach to Conviction Integrity


All panels take place in Fitts Auditorium
3501 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

For a PDF of the agenda, click here.

Friday, April 4

Registration and Breakfast
8:00 am – 8:30 am

Davis Student Union

Welcome and Introduction
8:30 am – 9:00 am

Michael A. Fitts, Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law

John F. Hollway, Executive Director, Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice

Session 1: Quality Control:  A Comparative Analysis
9:00 am – 10:15 am

The problem of quality control pervades many of the systems in our society.  Panelists, each expert in quality control and systems error reduction in a complex, high-risk field, will explore efforts to address quality control in a range of other important areas, such as healthcare, aviation, laboratories, etc., and how maintaining quality in the criminal justice system may be similar to and different from quality control in these other areas.


  • Cary Coglianese, Ph.D.
    Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science; Director, Penn Program on Regulation
    University of Pennsylvania Law School


  • Lee A. Fleisher, MD
    Robert D. Dripps Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology and Critical Care
    Professor of Medicine
    Perelman School of Medicine
    Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Christopher Hart
    Vice Chair
    National Transportation Safety Board
  • Lucian Leape, MD
    Adjunct Professor of Health Policy
    Harvard University School of Public Health
  • Susan Silbey, Ph.D.
    Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities Sociology and Anthropology Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences, Sloan School of Management
    Head, Anthropology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Session 2:  Fostering A Culture of Disclosure in Criminal Justice
10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Quality control approaches in other industries focus on identifying and learning from error over time.  While some errors are blatant and obvious to all participants, others may go undetected or unreported.  Industries that have focused on a systems approach to error reduction have prioritized a culture of error disclosure to enable objective analysis and thoughtful corrective recommendations.  How can a culture of disclosure of errors or “near misses” (errors discovered before causing catastrophic damage) be encouraged while promoting a just culture of appropriate accountability and victim compensation?  The panel will examine examples such as hospital morbidity/mortality panels and the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), an anonymous central reporting structure that has become an important safety data repository for the aviation industry.


  • Stephanos Bibas
    Professor of Law and Criminology
    Director, Supreme Court Clinic
    University of Pennsylvania Law School


  • Linda Connell
    NASA ASRS Director
    NASA Ames Research Center
  • E. Thomas Hicks IV
    Chief Programs Officer
    International Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Jeffrey Deskovic
    Executive Director
    The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice
  • Steven Raper, MD
    Associate Professor of Surgery
    Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Levy Conference Center, Silverman Hall 245

Lunch Keynote Address
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Levy Conference Center, Silverman Hall 245

The Honorable Christopher Hart
Vice Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board:
“Enforcement and Safety: Finding a Balance”

Christopher A. Hart was sworn in as a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board, and designated by the President as Vice Chairman of the Board in August 2009. Hart joined the Board after a long career in transportation safety, including a previous term as a Member of the NTSB. Immediately before returning to the Board, he was Deputy Director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He was previously the FAA Assistant Administrator for the Office of System Safety.
Hart served as a Member of the NTSB from 1990 to 1993. After leaving the Board, he served as Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, before moving to the FAA in 1995.

From 1973 until joining the Board in 1990, Member Hart held a series of legal positions, mostly in the private sector. He holds a law degree from Harvard University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.

Hart is a licensed pilot with commercial, multi-engine, and instrument ratings.  
His family has a tradition of accomplishment in the field of transportation:  in 1926 his great uncle, James Herman Banning, was the first African-American to receive a pilot’s license issued by the US government.

Session 3: Defining and Maintaining Quality in Criminal Justice
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm

Criminal justice professionals are currently exploring a variety of innovative approaches to ensuring conviction integrity.  These include:  efforts on the part of law enforcement officers to improve “investigation integrity;” Conviction Integrity Units established within prosecutor’s offices to review cases where errors are suspected; the use of checklists to ensure thorough and unbiased case management; and the use of comparative data across similar jurisdictions to assess regional differences in the administration of justice.  Panelists from law enforcement, prosecution, public defense, and the non-profit/research sector will discuss such initiatives and suggest advantages and challenges to their implementation.


  • John F. Hollway
    Executive Director
    Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice
    University of Pennsylvania Law School


  • Jeff Adachi
    Public Defender
    San Francisco Public Defender’s Office
  • Amy Bach
    President and Executive Director
    Measures for Justice
  • Karen Amendola, Ph.D.
    Chief Behavioral Scientist
    The Police Foundation
  • The Honorable Craig Watkins
    District Attorney
    Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, TX

Session 4:  Errors in Criminal Justice – What We Know, and What We Don’t
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

In the past quarter-century, the “Innocence Movement” has created nationwide awareness about the breadth and depth of errors in criminal justice.  At the same time, there are limits on our knowledge, and our ability to prioritize potential reforms.  Panelists will discuss such topics as the impact of videotaping custodial interrogations, expanding use of double-blind and/or sequential lineups to reduce false positives in eyewitness identification, the expanded use of DNA samples in law enforcement and its ability to increase conviction integrity, challenges with forensic science and crime labs, and other topics that will highlight both how far we have come, and how far we still have to go to ensure the fair administration of justice.


  • David Rudovsky
    Senior Fellow
    University of Pennsylvania Law School


  • Michael Ambrosino
    Special Counsel for DNA/Forensic Evidence Litigation
    US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
  • Jules Epstein
    Professor of Law and Director of the Taishoff Advocacy
    Technology and Public Service Institute, Widener Law
  • Samuel Gross
    Thomas and Mabel Long Professor of Law
    University of Michigan Law School
    National Registry of Exonerations
  • Dan Simon
    Richard L. and Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Law & Psychology
    USC Gould School of Law
  • Jim Trainum
    Consultant at Criminal Case Review & Consulting
    Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Haaga Student Lounge (The Goat)

Saturday, April 5

Registration and Breakfast 
7:30 am – 8:00 am

Davis Student Union

Session 5:  Challenges to Implementing Reform
8:30 am – 9:45 am

Participants in the criminal justice system are constantly seeking to improve the performance of each facet of the system.  Identifying potential reforms and measuring their impact, however, ignores the barriers to implementation.  Even for reforms that are shown to reduce charging and conviction errors (e.g., “best practices” in eyewitness identification, videotaping of custodial interrogations), there are political, cultural, financial, and other issues that may present good faith, real-world impediments to implementation.  Panelists from law enforcement, criminal law, and research will discuss these challenges, as well as strategies for implementing, evaluating, and optimizing suggested reforms.  


  • John MacDonald, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor of Criminology and Sociology
    Chair, Department of Criminology
    University of Pennsylvania



  • John Firman
    International Association of Chiefs of Police Research Center (IACP)
  • Francis Healy
    Philadelphia Police Department
  • Phil Kohn
    Public Defender
    Clark County Public Defender’s Office, NV
  • Kevin Steele
    First Assistant District Attorney
    Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, PA


Session 6: Identifying and Improving System Weaknesses in Criminal Justice         
10:15 am – 11:30 am

An overview of the Sentinel Event Initiative (SEI), a groundbreaking new program from the National Institute of Justice, the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.  The program aims to use sentinel events such as wrongful convictions, wrongful releases, and near misses as opportunities to identify and improve weaknesses in the criminal justice system. This non-blaming, forward looking process will unite all stakeholders in an attempt to learn from errors and prevent them from reoccurring.  Experts in the fields of policing, prosecution, and defense will join to discuss:  the need for and feasibility of such an approach in the criminal justice system; potential barriers to implementation and how they might be overcome; and general principles of effecting change in an often-insular and slow-to-evolve system.


  • Maureen McGough
    Policy Advisor
    Office of the Director
    National Institute of Justice



  • John Chisholm
    District Attorney
    Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, WI
  • Madeline deLone
    Executive Director
    The Innocence Project
  • James Doyle
    Of Counsel
    The Law Offices of Bassil, Klovee & Budreau, P.C.
    Visiting Fellow
    National Institute of Justice
  • Sean Smoot
    Director and Chief Legal Counsel
    Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois

Session 7:  Successful Design of Rigorous Field Experiments in Criminal Justice
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

It is impossible to accurately predict the utility of, and potential magnitude of impact of proposed reforms to the criminal justice system without rigorous and properly implemented field experiments.  And just as properly designed and implemented experiments can provide priceless observations about our system, flawed designs and ineffective implementations can generate deceptive data that actually slows or reverses useful reforms.  A gathering of experts with experience in conducting field research in conviction integrity, crime, and fields outside criminal justice will discuss these issues, and provide guidance on how to ensure that reforms with the promise to improve the accuracy of criminal justice are properly tested and reported to allow all jurisdictions to “Do Better, and Prove It.”


  • David Abrams, Ph.D.
    Professor of Law, Business Economics, and Public Policy
    University of Pennsylvania Law School


  • James M. Anderson
    Senior Behavioral Scientist; Affiliated Faculty
    Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Anne Piehl, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics
    Rutgers University
  • Barry Scheck
    The Innocence Project

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Haaga Student Lounge (The Goat)

Friday’s program has been approved for 6.0 substantive law credit hours for Pennsylvania lawyers.  CLE credits may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $60.00 (or $35.00 for public interest attorneys) cash or check payable to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”  If you will not be attending the entire day’s program the fee will be $15.00 per credit hour.

Saturday’s program has been approved for 4.0 substantive law credit hours for Pennsylvania lawyers.  CLE credits may be available in other jurisdictions as well. Attendees seeking CLE credit should bring separate payment in the amount of $40.00 (or $25.00 for public interest attorneys) cash or check payable to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”  If you will not be attending the entire day’s program the fee will be $15.00 per credit hour.

If you will be attending all day, both days, cash or one check for $100 (or $60 for public interest attorneys) payable to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” is fine.

There is no charge for the event itself.