Compassionate Release Practicum (C)
LAW JD 685
THIS CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have formally applied and been accepted to the Compassionate Release Practicum. In April of 2018, Massachusetts joined 44 states and the federal government in providing a statutory mechanism by which terminally ill and/or permanently incapacitated inmates could be released on so-called medical parole. The new statute was a result of ongoing compromises as part of the omnibus criminal justice reform bill, and pending constitutional litigation which became moot. To date only one person has been released. The intent of the practicum is to engage students both in direct representation of inmates not otherwise entitled to counsel, and in brainstorming and developing solutions in this new and rapidly developing area of law. Students will learn about legislative history and lobbying, about statutory construction, FOIA, and about the constitutional underpinnings of compassionate release. Students will learn and demonstrate drafting, client counseling and negotiation skills. This practicum can be taken for one (50 hours) or two (100 hours) graded credits. Students will write a total of twenty pages, which likely will include a petition for release, and a superior court complaint and motion for judgment on the pleadings. Students will in addition write two journal reflections. There will be a weekly one hour seminar at a time arranged with the students. The final grade is based on class participation, revised writing and journal reflections. NOTE: The Compassionate Release Practicum counts towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.