Penny White to examine independence in the judicial decision process in next IJPM symposium Feb. 6
Penny White to examine independence in the judicial decision process in next IJPM symposium Feb. 6January 22, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Once the youngest member of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Penny White lost her seat in one of the most bitterly contested retention elections in state history. Although White received a favorable recommendation from the judicial evaluation commission, a coalition of special interest groups mobilized to oppose her retention because of her stance in an emotionally charged death penalty case. At a Feb. 6 symposium, “The Media’s Effect on Judicial Independence: A Kaleidoscopic View,” White, now interim director of the Center for Advocacy and associate professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, will discuss how the media tends to portray — and distort — the image of judges and their decisions.
The symposium is the third in a series of symposia and events sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University (IJPM). White’s lecture, co-sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law and also part of its 2006-07 Convocation Lecture Series, will be held from 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. at Hendricks Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, and will be webcast live through the Institute’s website: http://jpm.syr.edu.
Before becoming a member of the UT College of Law faculty in 2000, White had served in all courts of record in the state of Tennessee. As a circuit judge, White presided over civil and criminal jury trials in Tennessee’s First Judicial District. Thereafter, as a member of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, White heard and decided hundreds of cases involving state and federal constitutional law issues and state criminal law issues. As a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court, White participated in several decisions that have impacted Tennessee law, including decisions involving class actions, rights of tort victims and capital punishment.
Since leaving the bench, White has authored benchbooks for Tennessee Circuit, General Sessions and Municipal Court judges; has taught judicial education programs in 35 states; and has spoken and written frequently on the topic of judicial independence. She has served for 12 years as a member of the faculty at the National Judicial College, where she teaches courses for judges on the subjects of evidence, criminal procedure and judicial ethics. Her work has been published in the Colorado, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Hofstra, South Carolina, Fordham Urban, Chicago-Kent, Richmond, Missouri-Kansas City and Memphis law reviews and in several journals and magazines.
Launched in September 2006, IJPM is an academic institute devoted to the interdisciplinary study of issues at the intersection of law, politics and the media. A collaborative effort of SU’s College of Law, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, the Institute sponsors lectures, conferences and symposia designed to foster discussion and debate among legal scholars, sitting judges and working journalists.
For more information, visit the IJPM website: http://jpm.syr.edu.