15   Fairmont Hotel 
16   Grand Ballroom 
17   Saturday, August 2, 1997 
18   1:22 p.m. 
 1             MS. RENO:  Mr. Chief Justice, Bill, 
 2   Ron, thank you so much for the invitation to be 
 3   here today.  Bob, thank you for being here 
 4   today, for that introduction and for your 
 5   friendship over the years. 
 6             I look at this room as I looked about 
 7   when I spoke to you four years ago, and I see 
 8   so many people from my past.  If Neal Sonnett 
 9   had ran against me in 1978, I wouldn't be here 
10   because he would have been elected.  But Neal 
11   Sonnett didn't run against me.  And he has been 
12   a fierce and gallant adversary and a wonderful 
13   friend. 
14             I see so many other people in this 
15   room who have been part of my life.  Barbara 
16   and I worked together.  And it makes you 
17   realize how small this world is.  And now to 
18   see the new friends that I have made at the 
19   Department of Justice. 
20             I will tell you that I have a special 
21   mission while I'm Attorney General and when I 
22   leave this office.  And that is to let the 
23   people of the United States know how many 
24   dedicated men and women work with them and for 
25   them in the Department of Justice. 
 1             When you see people there at eleven 
 2   o'clock at night, or when you come in early in 
 3   the morning and find that they've been there 
 4   until two o'clock in the morning to have 
 5   something ready for you at the Command Center, 
 6   and when you watch them go up to testify before 
 7   Congressional committees, they do it year-in 
 8   and they do it year-out.  And they do it with 
 9   such extraordinary excellence.  And so I feel 
10   like I'm much enlarged and enhanced after this 
11   time four years ago. 
12             I see especially Laurie Robinson.  
13   We've worked together in different lives.  And, 
14   if you had told us that we would be in the 
15   situation we're in now, I think we would have 
16   laughed. 
17             But I used to come to ABA committee 
18   meetings with wild ideas.  And Laurie would 
19   very quietly sit me down and explain the rules 
20   of the ABA, and suggest a little adjustment to 
21   my plan, and that perhaps it would work. 
22             And in the Dash Committee or in the 
23   other committees, when I wanted to do 
24   something, I always found that Laurie somehow 
25   or another got me calmed down, and we went in 
 1   the right direction, and it got done.  And now 
 2   she's doing a wonderful job as head of the 
 3   Office of Justice Programs.  And she's still 
 4   calming me down and showing me the right way to 
 5   go. 
 6             And so I look out over 34 years of 
 7   people who have been colleagues and friends and 
 8   adversaries and look at people who, for the 
 9   last four years, both from Miami and in the 
10   Department of Justice have been so supportive.  
11   And all I can say is the practice of law with 
12   lawyers is great. 
13             And it's great because, although we 
14   have differed at times and will continue to 
15   differ, and we advocate sometimes on different 
16   sides, we are united in one common goal:  To 
17   build the best criminal justice system we 
18   possibly can; to enforce the law, but to 
19   enforce the law according to principles of due 
20   process and fair play; and to secure justice, 
21   not for some Americans, but for all Americans. 
22             This past week I went to St. 
23   Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, as did many 
24   people, and I sat there and thought about 
25   Justice Brennan.  I listened as Justice Souter 
 1   recalled him.  I only had the privilege of 
 2   meeting him about three times after I came to 
 3   Washington.  But he had such a remarkable 
 4   quality of making you feel so very, very 
 5   special.  He had a quality of making you feel, 
 6   after you had left his presence, that you 
 7   should go out and do more and try harder. 
 8             And with his passing there seemed a 
 9   vacuum.  But quickly his presence filled that 
10   vacuum, and you walked out of St. Matthew's 
11   Cathedral resolved to do more and to try 
12   harder. 
13             And I thought about it a long time in 
14   terms of what I need to do in the Department of 
15   Justice, to kind of wade through the Beltway 
16   fracases and look at the large issues that 
17   confront us in America and in the criminal 
18   justice system. 
19             I'd look to talk to you about some of 
20   those issues now.  The first is the issue of 
21   indigent defense.  Lee Cooper and Judy Clarke 
22   of the National Association of Criminal Defense 
23   Lawyers, Bill Taylor and others have written 
24   urging the Department to do more in this 
25   regard. 
 1             For 15 years as a prosecutor I became 
 2   convinced that to achieve justice for 
 3   defendants, if we were going to do that, we had 
 4   to have adequate funding, adequate training and 
 5   adequate resources for indigent defendants.  To 
 6   give people confidence in the justice system, 
 7   we had to have adequate funding, adequate 
 8   training and adequate resources for indigent 
 9   defenses.  
10             If we did not, people would say, 
11   "Look, in this country you know you can only 
12   get justice if you're rich, or if you can pay 
13   for a lawyer."  And that's not justice, and 
14   that does not give people confidence in the 
15   system. 
16             And to ensure effective law 
17   enforcement, we need to have an indigence 
18   defendant system that functions properly to 
19   prevent continuances, to prevent delay and the 
20   frustration of reversals on appeal. 
21             Now I was spoiled by Bennett Brummer.  
22   I think I've gotten madder at Bennett Brummer 
23   than almost anybody I know.  He has made me 
24   frustrated and angry, but I have been blessed 
25   and spoiled by the excellence and the vigor of 
 1   the public defenders in his office. 
 2             I have, at the same time, seen him 
 3   battling for sorely needed resources, and I 
 4   have understood the frustrations that he faced.  
 5   But my first exposure outside the Eleventh 
 6   Judicial Circuit in Florida was during my time 
 7   on the DASH Committee.  And the public hearings 
 8   that we held across the country illuminated my 
 9   understanding of what the systems were like 
10   around the country.  And I suddenly realized we 
11   had it real good in Miami. 
12             There were jurisdictions where little 
13   thought was given to indigent defense, where 
14   little thought was given to funding issues. 
15             And in these last four years, in my 
16   opportunities to visit around the country, I 
17   have seen an even greater problem in terms of 
18   the quality and the strength of resources for 
19   indigent defense. 
20             And, thus, I would like to work with 
21   you to address how we can, together, begin to 
22   ensure that all Americans have appropriate 
23   defenses.  I think we can begin by looking at 
24   the language. 
25             And, frankly, it's at this point 
 1   confused, but there is language providing for 
 2   caps in the appropriation bill.  And we need to 
 3   look at that and work through those issues in 
 4   this month before Congress comes back, to 
 5   educate all as to the provisions, and to their 
 6   impact, and to do everything we can to ensure 
 7   that, particularly in federal capital cases, 
 8   there be appropriate and vigorous defense. 
 9             Early this fall, the Department, 
10   through the Office of Justice Programs, will 
11   convene a small group, which will include 
12   members of the defense bar and other 
13   knowledgeable persons so that we can discuss 
14   what steps we can take to help improve the 
15   quality and the availability of indigent legal 
16   defense services. 
17             We also need hard data about indigent 
18   defense.  For that reason our Bureaus of 
19   Justice Statistics and Justice Assistance are 
20   launching this year the first national level 
21   data collection since the early 1980s to 
22   document the provision of indigent defense 
23   services at the state and local level. 
24             In these discussions, I think it is 
25   important for us to consider first how we 
 1   educate state legislators and Congress in 
 2   understanding the critical need for appropriate 
 3   indigent defense services, how we explain not 
 4   only the cause of justice, but the impact that 
 5   inadequate services have on the whole criminal 
 6   justice system and law enforcement. 
 7             Just remind them of the victim that's 
 8   hollering and screaming at me, because they 
 9   can't get the case to trial, my prosecutors 
10   can't get the case to trial, because the public 
11   defender doesn't have enough time because the 
12   public defender has a totally unreasonable 
13   caseload. 
14             But we've got to do more than that.  
15   We have got to discuss what staffing standards 
16   should exist.  I have been before too many 
17   legislative committees that have said, "Okay, 
18   we want to help you, but what is the 
19   appropriate standard?" 
20             Too often we seem to use pie-in-the- 
21   sky standards.  We've got to develop balanced 
22   standards that can give some indication to the 
23   appropriators as to what is a realistic level 
24   that can be achieved. 
25             We've got to develop some 
 1   understanding as to the balance between 
 2   prosecutors and defenders.  Too often the 
 3   prosecutors and defenders are involved in an 
 4   attack, a financial attack, on the same pot of 
 5   money, and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme 
 6   or reason that governs their attack, because 
 7   they are both in such desperate need. 
 8             If we can develop an appropriate 
 9   balance in understanding the functions of the 
10   office, we can make a difference, I think, in 
11   our efforts. 
12             I think we've got to explore the 
13   whole issue of training, how we train all 
14   involved.  And we must consider the issue of 
15   joint training.  I've found from my prosecutors 
16   in Miami that some of their best training 
17   experiences were at the University of Florida, 
18   were public defenders and prosecutors trained 
19   together.  And I think we can learn so much 
20   from that initiative. 
21             I look at the many, many wonderful 
22   lawyers in private practice, some of them civil 
23   lawyers, who have never walked into a criminal 
24   justice courtroom, some of them like my friend 
25   Sandy D'Alembert who, when he decided he might 
 1   learn what the criminal justice system was all 
 2   about, in his first jury trial asked a 
 3   prospective juror what would happen if the 
 4   defendant took the Fifth.  He then went off to 
 5   be president of the ABA and I hope it helped 
 6   him. 
 7             But if we develop appropriate 
 8   training programs and support programs, we can 
 9   provide so much more resources for the system 
10   through lawyers who are more than willing to 
11   give of their time but are afraid to give it 
12   because they are afraid they are going to make 
13   some dumb mistake. 
14             I think one of the great issues that 
15   we have got to talk about when we talk about 
16   indigent defense is resources.  When I look at 
17   the developing technology and the developing 
18   science, whether it be with respect to the use 
19   of DNA, whether it be new forensic 
20   developments, we have got to include in the 
21   equation of adequate indigent defense funding a 
22   provision for resources and expertise and 
23   knowledge that defense lawyers throughout this 
24   country can draw upon.  (Applause.) 
25             Let's translate it, though.  Let's 
 1   not only point it out, but point out that when 
 2   they don't have it, and then it gets reversed 
 3   or justice is not done and somebody gets 
 4   convicted when they are innocent, what the 
 5   difference can mean with a defense lawyer who 
 6   has appropriate knowledge at his hand and what 
 7   they can do to make a difference in securing 
 8   justice. 
 9             In short we shouldn't be playing the 
10   "Gotcha" game when we talk about liberty and 
11   life.  We should be talking about how we work 
12   together as respectful, as civil adversaries to 
13   ensure justice for all. 
14             And I think that requires that we be 
15   a bit candid.  Prosecutors are in this with 
16   you.  And sometimes we have seen, from our 
17   perspective, a great public defender and then a 
18   court-appointed lawyer who is just opening his 
19   office or her office and who is depending on 
20   court appointments, but is busy getting the 
21   office staffed and pleads the client and turns 
22   and goes on to another case. 
23             Somehow or another we have got to 
24   work together to ensure the best in criminal 
25   defense and to ensure that conflict standards 
 1   are understood and accepted as part of the 
 2   whole appropriations process and that people 
 3   use the criminal justice system the right way:  
 4   Not to cause a police officer to come in three 
 5   times when one time would be sufficient for a 
 6   deposition; not to cause the system harassment 
 7   by unnecessary questions; but that we seek 
 8   justice in the most vigorous, professional way 
 9   possible, in the shortest amount of time 
10   possible with the least convenience to all 
11   concerned possible. 
12             The legitimacy of our justice system 
13   depends on our efforts to ensure the fairness 
14   of the system for everyone, regardless of 
15   wealth. 
16             I know that so many of you have 
17   worked tirelessly over the years to fulfill the 
18   promise of Gideon and the guaranties of the 
19   Sixth Amendment.  And I salute you and I thank 
20   you.  And I look forward to working with you. 
21             I also know that members of the 
22   defense bar have concerns beyond the provision 
23   of indigent defense.  That's why I have tried 
24   to open lines of communication between the 
25   Department and members of the defense 
 1   community. 
 2             I know, for example, that the 
 3   Department has been well represented in the ABA 
 4   Criminal Justice Section by people such as 
 5   Merrick Garland, Bob Litt and Mary Harkenrider. 
 6             I know, too, that representatives of 
 7   the Criminal Justice Section, the NACDL, the 
 8   federal defenders and others meet regularly 
 9   with members of the Department's Criminal 
10   Division and the Deputy Attorney General's 
11   Office. 
12             We have also had dialogue at the 
13   local level hosted by U. S. Attorney's Offices.  
14   These meetings are so very important, for they 
15   help us to address issues of concern to the 
16   defense community, not just on a national 
17   level, but where there is a local problem. 
18             I think it is essential that these 
19   and other dialogues continue and expand, and to 
20   help ensure that they do, I want to invite the 
21   leaders of the defense bar, the Criminal 
22   Justice Section, the NACDL, the federal 
23   defenders, the National Legal Aid and 
24   Defenders' Association and others to meet with 
25   me on a regular basis to discuss issues of 
 1   concern to the defense community.  And I say, 
 2   "Let's begin this fall." 
 3             I know that if we can sit down and 
 4   air concerns and discuss problems, we will be 
 5   able to work together to find solutions and to 
 6   achieve our common goal of a criminal justice 
 7   system that provides fair, firm, effective law 
 8   enforcement while, at the same time, ensuring 
 9   justice for all. 
10             Another common concern we share has 
11   occurred most recently over the last year or so 
12   as we have seen an increase in the criticism of 
13   the federal judiciary for so-called "activism," 
14   accompanied by calls to curtail judicial 
15   independence, to eliminate life tenure and to 
16   impeach individual judges who have made 
17   decisions some disagree with. 
18             I want to discuss this briefly now, 
19   because I will be addressing it again in more 
20   detail with the House of Delegates on Tuesday. 
21             But as the nation's chief law 
22   enforcement officer, I am deeply disturbed by 
23   this increasingly heated rhetoric.  Much of the 
24   current debate about so-called "judicial 
25   activism" ignores the fundamental role that an 
 1   independent judiciary plays in our 
 2   constitutional system of government and it 
 3   risks undermining respect for and compliance 
 4   with the law. 
 5             Judicial independence is particularly 
 6   important for the criminal justice system.  And 
 7   I say this, as one who has had my full share of 
 8   judicial decisions that I violently disagreed 
 9   with, but we must remember, as Justice Brennan 
10   once noted, that "Those whom we should banish 
11   from society often speak in too faint a voice 
12   to be heard above society's demand for 
13   punishment.  It is the particular role of 
14   courts to hear these words, to hear these 
15   voices, for the Constitution declares that the 
16   majoritarian chorus may not alone dictate the 
17   conditions of social life." 
18             There are two other issues in which 
19   we share, among others, common cause that I 
20   would like to discuss with you today. 
21             The next is the whole issue of drug 
22   testing, treatment and after-care programs.  
23   Twenty years ago when I became a prosecutor I 
24   thought that you could treat drug abuse, but I 
25   was one of very few.  I can't tell you how many 
 1   people would laugh at me and say, "Janet, you 
 2   know you can't treat drug abuse." 
 3             Nobody laughs at me anymore.  
 4   Everyone, even Congressmen, legislators, has 
 5   had somebody, a family member, a friend, a 
 6   neighbor, somebody in the workplace, who has 
 7   benefitted from drug treatment.  It does work 
 8   and all America has seen it work.  And now 
 9   we've got to do something about that knowledge. 
10             One of the expensive parts of drug 
11   treatment is having a place to treat people.  
12   Well, the latest figures indicate anywhere from 
13   50 to 75 percent of the people booked into the 
14   jails of this country have a drug abuse 
15   problem.  And we've got a place to treat them 
16   in many instances.  Let's start to use it. 
17             But we have seen examples of how 
18   people are beginning to do it on a more 
19   systematic basis.  In October of 1988 the Drug 
20   Court got started in Miami.  It got started 
21   because of a public defender that cared, a 
22   prosecutor that wanted to develop the program, 
23   a court that was willing to take a sabbatical 
24   and come spend time to make the program work 
25   and a county commission that was willing to 
 1   back it up. 
 2             It made me feel like things can 
 3   change when Laurie mentioned that at a recent 
 4   Drug Court conference there were hundreds of 
 5   people there.  We have come a long way. 
 6             And we have found that the early 
 7   research on drug courts is very promising, 
 8   Judge.  according to an evaluation of the Dade 
 9   County program, Drug Court defendants had far 
10   lower rates of offending than a comparison 
11   group and had longer periods between arrest. 
12             And I think we have got to look.  
13   When we are looking for indicia of success, 
14   sometimes we say, "Well, he repeated himself."  
15   But the longer the time lapse between the 
16   repetition, that's one step of success.  And 
17   what we are seeing, in many instances, is 
18   suddenly they don't come back anymore. 
19             A more rigorous evaluation in the 
20   District of Columbia, which has also set up a 
21   Drug Court, is finding that the declining drug 
22   use among defendants participating in the Drug 
23   Treatment Court has paralleled, and in a 
24   parallel graduated sanctions court, is 
25   revealing again success of the program. 
 1             But the findings with the greatest 
 2   policy significance come from the correction 
 3   setting, that place to treat somebody, the 
 4   place we have to pay money for on the outside, 
 5   but we've got a place to treat them. 
 6             Rigorous evaluations of a number of 
 7   prison-based therapeutic communities around the 
 8   country have shown that these programs can 
 9   reduce both drug use and criminal behavior 
10   after the offender is released from prison. 
11             Moreover, when prison-based 
12   therapeutic community-style treatment is 
13   combined with post-release after care and 
14   supervision, the reductions in drug use and 
15   criminal behavior are even greater. 
16             But, ladies and gentlemen, we are 
17   missing a great bet.  We've got prison systems 
18   around the country that understand this.  And 
19   they are begging and pleading for programs and 
20   systems and funding that can make it work. 
21             With funding from the Office of the 
22   National Drug Control Policy, the Justice 
23   Department's National Institute of Justice is 
24   implementing a research demonstration project 
25   in Birmingham, Alabama called "Breaking the 
 1   Cycle." 
 2             Under this project everyone arrested 
 3   in Birmingham will be tested for drug use.  And 
 4   every component of the criminal justice system, 
 5   including the jails and prisons, the pretrial 
 6   and probation departments, the judges, 
 7   prosecutors and defense counsel, with 
 8   leadership provided by the Birmingham Task 
 9   Program, with work together to reduce the level 
10   of drug use in the population that moves from 
11   arrest to final disposition. 
12             Based on this model, I and General 
13   McCaffrey and others are working to develop a 
14   program that will help support interested 
15   jurisdictions in developing a comprehensive 
16   system-wide strategy that will break the cycle 
17   of drug and alcohol abuse across this nation. 
18             And I think we have to take it in 
19   ordered pieces:  Testing beginning at arrest; 
20   treatment interventions that are sufficiently 
21   well-funded and not spread so thin that they 
22   become useless; graduated sanctions for 
23   noncompliance; addressing the need that 
24   sometimes caused the problem in the first 
25   place:  Educational deficiencies, life skills, 
 1   housing problems; and addressing the issue of 
 2   job training and placement.  And, most of all, 
 3   after care. 
 4             So many of the programs we see work, 
 5   but then the person is returned to the 
 6   apartment over the open-air drug market where 
 7   they got into trouble in the first place.  And 
 8   guess what happens?  They're back in trouble 
 9   again. 
10             I ask you to join with me in this 
11   effort.  We can make such an extraordinary 
12   difference.  The time is right now to do it.  
13   Crime is down in this country.  We have seen so 
14   many initiatives in support of law enforcement. 
15             The President's effort to put a 
16   hundred thousand police officers on the streets 
17   of this nation, prevention programs that are 
18   working, other initiatives, the passage of the 
19   Brady Act. 
20             We are seeing an impact.  
21   Unemployment is at one of its lowest levels in 
22   many recent years.  And yet we have a 
23   challenge.  The challenge is that we will see 
24   more young people in this nation in the next 
25   ten years than in many years. 
 1             But let's take what we have already 
 2   done.  The American Bar Association and the 
 3   American Medical Association, working with the 
 4   Department of Justice and others, has helped to 
 5   reverse this nation's whole direction with 
 6   respect to domestic violence. 
 7             It is a remarkable thing to sit in a 
 8   meeting and see the President of the ABA there 
 9   with the President or the President-Elect of 
10   the AMA all talking about what we can do to 
11   address the problem of domestic violence in 
12   this country, and to see lawyers and doctors 
13   working together in communities to address the 
14   problem in the community through increase in 
15   battered spouse shelters, through intervention 
16   programs that can made a difference. 
17             Let us come together and let us reach 
18   out to the AMA and let us make sure that every 
19   state has a comprehensive program that will 
20   have an impact on drug and alcohol abuse for 
21   every defendant who suffers from it in this 
22   country.  (Applause.) 
23             For the person who says, "It won't 
24   work," talk to the professionals, talk to the 
25   police officer who sees the kid back on the 
 1   street with the same drug problem that he had 
 2   when he went into prison.  Talk to the 
 3   corrections official who sees the person.  Let 
 4   us work together with common sense to use this 
 5   time of prosperity and relative peace to give 
 6   the children who are coming a future. 
 7             But four years ago in New York I 
 8   urged the lawyers of this nation to join in 
 9   building communities that gave our children a 
10   chance to grow in a strong and positive way, to 
11   join together to develop programs that kept 
12   children away from crime and guns and drugs. 
13             I asked the Department of Justice to 
14   do the same.  Some people were puzzled and 
15   asked why an Attorney General was focusing on 
16   children.  Was she more a social worker than a 
17   prosecutor? 
18             But I'm proud because most lawyers, 
19   the ABA, many local bar associations, police 
20   chiefs, mayors, public defenders and thousands 
21   of others across the nation have responded.  
22   And they have said, "Yes, that is the way to 
23   go." 
24             We will never jail our way out of 
25   this problem.  We've got to develop a balanced 
 1   effort that punishes the young and violent 
 2   offenders with punishments that are fair and 
 3   firm and fit the crime while, at the same time, 
 4   doing everything we can to prevent the problem 
 5   in the first place.  And we are seeing results. 
 6             In Boston, which had a terrible 
 7   problem with children being killed by children, 
 8   there has not been a child killed in a homicide 
 9   in two years, because they came together in a 
10   balanced effort, the state attorney and federal 
11   U. S. Attorney, in enforcement actions that 
12   were balanced and thoughtful, and with 
13   prevention programs that have made such an 
14   extraordinary difference. 
15             Last year for the first time in seven 
16   years the national juvenile violent crime 
17   arrest rate and the juvenile murder arrest rate 
18   went down. 
19             In addition, the most recent Crime 
20   Victimization Survey shows that in 1995 
21   juvenile violent crime in the United States 
22   declined by 25 percent, by far the largest 
23   decline in a single year in the history of the 
24   Crime Victimization Survey. 
25             These statistics are encouraging, but 
 1   they are not a signal for us to give up.  The 
 2   number of young people is increasing.  We must 
 3   renew our efforts in our communities, in our 
 4   nation. 
 5             And I will be working with Congress 
 6   when they return in September to make sure that 
 7   the Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Act introduced 
 8   by the President has the moneys for prevention 
 9   that can provide hope for other children across 
10   America through truancy prevention programs and 
11   afternoon programs that make a difference. 
12             Maybe we can come back next year and 
13   we will have a new challenge that can be 
14   feasibly obtained to make sure that every child 
15   in America is properly supervised after school 
16   and in the evenings with activities and support 
17   that give them a chance for the future. 
18             Four years ago in New York I told you 
19   that I loved lawyers and I loved the law.  I 
20   mean it now more than ever, because for four 
21   years I have had a chance to watch and to meet 
22   the nation's lawyers.  You make me very proud 
23   to be a lawyer.  (Standing ovation.) 
24    (Proceedings concluded at 1:55 p.m.)