I want to share a couple of wonderful emails that I received last week. They are pretty cool.
I’m not sure that one of our publications has ever been cited in a United States Supreme Court opinion. That changed last week. Bob Farb sent the following email on Monday that got a lot of people excited, including me:
“In today’s U.S. Supreme Court case (Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado) that Jessie summarized for the criminal law listserv, Justice Alito’s dissenting opinion stated that “practice guides are replete with advice on conducting effective voir dire on the subject of race. They outline a variety of subtle and nuanced approaches that avoid pointed questions.” His footnote eight cited many guides, including the following:
A. Grine & E. Coward, Raising Issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases, p. 8–14 (2014) (suggesting that attorneys “share a brief example about a judgment shaped by a racial stereotype” to make it easier for jurors to share their own biased views), http://defendermanuals.sog.unc.edu/ race/8–addressing–race–trial (as last visited Mar. 3, 2017); id., at 8–15 to 8–17 (suggesting additional strategies and providing sample questions).”
We have had our research cited in state appellate court decisions, and that always is nice, but it is a big deal to have work cited by the highest court in the land. I wasn’t included on the original email, but it was soon forwarded to me with the following messages—“Pretty freaking cool” and “You need to see this!!!”
This particular publication is part of Raising Issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases by Alyson Grine (formerly a vital part of our Indigent Defense Education team) and Emily Coward, a research attorney with Indigent Defense Education. This manual was produced in part with a grant from the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation. Emily and Alyson received a Margaret Taylor Writing Award for their work on this manual in 2015. The School is doing some truly excellent work in the field of criminal law and it is nice to see it recognized.
I received another great email last week. The following email is from Ed Kitchen, the former Greensboro City Manager and now with the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation in Greensboro. Ed also serves as President of the School of Government Foundation.
“I just left a presentation in Guilford County by Kara on funding of school systems in NC. In a word – she was simply stellar! It is clear to me that the same standards that have long been the value proposition of the Institute and School are being sustained or exceeded by faculty like Kara. It reinforces for me again the amazing value that the SOG brings to all NC citizens and the mission of good government. My association with the Institute, School and MPA program continues to be one of the highlights of my life and privilege to be in public service.”
It is important to understand that Ed has had a long history with the Institute of Government and now with the School. He is a graduate of our MPA Program and he relied on our services in a host of different government positions throughout his career. Ed has worked with many of the School’s legendary faculty members—including Jake Wicker, Donald Hayman, Jack Vogt, and David Lawrence.
Ed is right to compare Kara with those and other great faculty members. She is terrific. I’m also confident that he would have felt the same way if he had seen a presentation by our other colleagues.
All in all, a pretty good week.