Innocent Behind Bars: A Symposium on Overcriminalization

The Academy for Justice, The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, and the Law Journal for Social Justice

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Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law
February 24, 2023, 8:30 a.m – 4:00 p.m.

Attendees listened to and interacted with scholars from across the country talk about the overcriminalization of vulnerable populations. Speakers discussed Professor Valena Beety’s book, Manifesting Justice, along with their own work to identify how women and vulnerable populations are uniquely impacted by incarceration.

Innocent Behind Bars: Overcriminalization and Manifesting Justice. This event will take place on February 24, 2023 from 8:30 am.m to 4:00 p.m.. This event is hosted by ASU Law Academy for Justice and the Law Journal for Social Justice.


Friday, February 24, 2023

Location: Great Hall, ASU Law Beus Center for Law and Society

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Light breakfast and registration

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.


9:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Roundtable discussion 1 – The Criminal Legal System and Justice: For Survivors of Violence and Survivors of a Violent Prison System

  • Maybell Romero, Felder-Fayard Associate Professor of Law, Tulane Law School – “Ruined”
  • Aya Gruber, Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School – The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration
  • Yvette Butler, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mississippi School of Law – “Survival Labor” and “Demonizing Our Sisters Through Epistemic Oppression”
  • Leigh Goodmark, Marjorie Cook Professor of Law, Maryland Carey School of Law* – Imperfect Victims: Criminalized Survivors and the Promise of Abolition Feminism (virtual)

10:45 – 12:00 p.m.

Panel – New Understandings of Wrongful Convictions Today: No Crime Wrongful Convictions, Criminalization of Fight or Flight from Police, and Answers Beyond the Courts

  • Daniel Medwed, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University School of Law – Barred
  • Omavi Shukur, Associate Research Scholar, Columbia Law School – “The Criminalization of Fight or Flight Responses to Capture”
  • Russ Covey, Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law – “Rules, Standards, Sentencing and the Nature of Law”; The Wrongful Convictions Reader
  • Jessica Henry, Professor, Montclair State University – Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch and keynote speaker Valena Beety

Valena Beety is a Professor of Law, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law – Manifesting Justice: Wrongly Convicted Women Reclaim Their Rights

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Roundtable discussion 2 – When Pregnancy is Criminalized: Wrongful Convictions and Reproductive Rights

  • Wendy Bach, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law – Prosecuting Poverty, Criminalizing Care
  • Ji Seon Song, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law – “Policing the Emergency Room
  • Cortney Lollar, Norman and Carole Harned Law and Public Policy Professor, University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law – “Criminalizing Pregnancy”
  • Priscilla Ocen, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School * – “Incapacitating Motherhood”; “Pregnancy as a Status Offense” (virtual)

2:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Brainstorming session – Restorative Justice and Decarceration: From Inside the Prison Walls

  • Eve Hanan, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research, Associate Professor of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law – “Invisible Prisons”
  • Seema Saifee, Quattrone Center Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School – “Decarceration’s Inside Partners”
  • Jordan Woods, Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law – “LGBT Identity and Crime”
  • Carla Laroche, Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law – “The New Jim and Jane Crow Intersect: Challenges to Defending the Parental Rights of Mothers During Incarceration”