Judge Block Sounds-Off on Collateral Consequences
Judge Frederic Block has demonstrated his willingness time-and-again to be bold and speak his mind, just as he did in his memoir Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge. Judge Block made headlines again recently with a lengthy opinion in the case of the United States of America vs. Chevelle Nesbeth.
Judge Block took this opportunity and used his platform to shed light on the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. In his opinion, he stated there will be challenges for where one can work, assistance one can receive, the ability to vote, drive and more, and that “the effects of these collateral consequences can be devastating.” Judge Block closed the opinion stating that counselors should advise appropriately and politicians evaluate if the post-sentence punishments are needed.
And as Judge Block’s opinion highlighted collateral consequences, that form of ancillary punishment touches many as one in four Americans has some form of a criminal record. Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions: Law, Policy and Practice, a co-publishing venture between Thomson Reuters Westlaw and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), was written to serve as a resource for legal professionals and policymakers on the legal restrictions and penalties that can result from a criminal conviction. Co-author Cecelia Klingele spoke with Legal Current about the issue.
Disrobed, another co-publishing venture with NACDL, offers a rare glimpse into the private world of a sitting judge on one of the country’s highest benches. The book, which you can hear Judge Block discuss with Legal Current, hits on controversial topics such as the death penalty, racketeering, terrorism, discrimination and foreign affairs.