Due Process Institute is a bipartisan nonprofit that works to honor, preserve, and restore principles of fairness in the criminal legal system.
Importantly, procedural due process concerns transcend liberal/conservative labels and therefore we focus on achievable results based on core principles and values that are shared by all Americans.
Guided by a bipartisan Board of Directors, and supported by bipartisan staff, we create and support achievable solutions for challenging criminal legal policy concerns through advocacy, litigation, and education.
We are lawyers and lobbyists for the Constitution, working with an incredibly diverse coalition of lawmakers, public policy organizations, defenders, business leaders, the formerly incarcerated and their families, and the public to help bring more fairness to the criminal legal system.
Res, non verba. Deeds, not words.
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August 5, 2020--Due Process Institute and a bipartisan coalition of 10 groups called on Congressional leadership to utilize oversight of federal agencies to ensure they are not conducting illegal surveillance of people in the United States through questionable legal authorities. Several provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act have been expired since March but some Executive and Congressional leaders have alleged that authorization of these provisions is not required for federal agencies to conduct mass surveillance of American citizens.
July 31, 2020--Due Process Institute's Policy Counsel submitted written testimony to Virginia's Senate Judiciary and Social Services Committees urging the state to adopt reforms that "improve fairness and the effective administration of justice" during the Commonwealth's upcoming special legislative session.
He urged the members of the Virginia General Assembly to adopt the following reforms:
1. An end to the state's statutory presumptions of pretrial detention for certain crimes that disrespect our principle that every individual is innocent until proven guilty.
2. Requiring a formal hearing before pretrial incarceration for all individuals arrested or charged with a crime.
3. Removing one of the largest barriers to police accountability—qualified immunity.
July 24, 2020--Due Process Institute joined a bipartisan coalition of national and local groups calling on the U.S. Senate to allow consideration of the bipartisan COVID-19 Safe Detention Act sponsored by Senators Durbin, Grassley, and Cramer as part of the next COVID-19 response package. This legislation will reduce overcrowding in federal prisons by streamlining the individualized determination of compassionate release and home detention motions for those who are extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 given their age or medical condition.
July 23, 2020--Virginia will be hosting a special session in August 2020 where legislative leaders will consider a variety of criminal justice reform proposals. Due Process Institute joined a bipartisan coalition of nine groups calling for the adoption of significant policing and criminal justice reforms such as ending mandatory minimums, expanding expungement, and improving police accountability.
“The COVID-19 crisis and recent calls for criminal justice reform create an inflection point for Virginia to lead the rest of the country by ensuring an effective justice system characterized by restoration and equality for all,” said Jeremiah Mosteller, Policy Counsel at Due Process Institute. “As a Virginian, I have been encouraged by the steps our General Assembly has already taken in recent sessions to improve our justice system and urge our elected leaders to utilize this unique opportunity to fix the remaining problems. These solutions should seek to reduce overcriminalization, improve accountability in policing, and ensure everyone’s constitutional rights are protected in the Commonwealth’s justice system.”
July 21, 2020--Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee sent a letter to the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence requesting that they confirm the termination of certain federal surveillance programs that Congress has failed to reauthorize and provide detailed explanations for the continuation of similar activities under other questionable legal authorities.
These requests mirror those included in a letter Due Process Institute, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress, and FreedomWorks urging that Congress receive similar information before reauthorizing key provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
On January 11, 2020, Due Process Institute co-hosted a community event, "Pretrial Justice: Examining the Need for Pretrial & Criminal Discovery Reform in Virginia" at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA, along with NACDL, VACDL, Americans for Prosperity, and Legal Aid Justice Center. The event presented multiple panels on important issues affecting the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth. The final panel, on effective citizen advocacy, was moderated by Joe Luppino-Esposito and featured Congressman Bobby Scott (VA) and Virginia Delegate Steve Heretick.
Due Process Institute has been actively working in Virginia to improve criminal discovery. Joe has weighed in on the importance of including sanctions for prosecutors who fail in their discovery duty, and has also suggested reform solutions that would put Virginia in line with its neighbor North Carolina.
In 40 states, as well as under federal law, a jury can find you not guilty of a criminal charge but a judge can still sentence you to jail for many years based on the facts underlying the acquitted charge. This is known as acquitted conduct sentencing, and Due Process Institute is leading the movement to end the practice. As part of the effort, Director, Rule of Law Initiatives Joe Luppino-Esposito delivered a presentation on the constitutional flaws with acquitted conduct sentencing to the Criminal Justice Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council States and Nation Policy Summit in December 2019.