Former Maryland governor to deliver talk on justice system

Former Maryland Gov. and U.S. Rep. Robert Ehrlich Jr. will deliver two talks focused on ways to improve the American criminal justice system on Thursday, March 13.

EhrlichGov. Ehrlich will give his first presentation titled, “Fostering a Sense of Fairness & Justice For People Seeking a Second Chance,” at noon in the Friday Courtroom of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.

A second talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall. Both events are free and open to the public and will be followed by question-and-answer sessions.

His presentation centers on improving the clemency and pardon process in the American criminal justice system.

“We must account for human frailties–sometimes serious frailties–but also for the millions of individuals who overcome obstacles, turn their lives around, and transform themselves into productive citizens,” Ehrlich has said.

“It is incumbent for governors and presidents not only to understand this fact of life but also possess the political fortitude to restore lives. A just society demands it.”

The talks are sponsored by Arkansas CURE and the End Mass Incarceration – Little Rock Chapter. No reservations are necessary for the noon talk, but seats for the 6 p.m. talk may be reserved by emailing or calling 501.683.5239.

Donations to help defray the cost of transportation and lodging may be made payable to: Arkansas CURE, P.O. Box 11554, Conway, AR 72034. For more information, contact or 501.519.0064 or 501.580.4857

More about Gov. Erlich

Ehrlich serves as senior counsel in the Government Advocacy and Public Policy practice group at King & Spalding. The international law firm represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 800 lawyers in 17 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Ehrlich received a scholarship and graduated from Princeton University. After graduating from Wake Forest University School of Law, Ehrlich worked for Ober, Kaler, Grimes and Shriver, a Baltimore law firm. In 1986, he won a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing parts of Baltimore County for several years.

In 1993, Ehrlich announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives and won the election. During his term, he introduced legislation aimed at helping disabled people maintain employment and supported harsher gun violence penalties.

Ehrlich announced in 2002 that he was running for governor of Maryland and then became the sixth Republican governor in the state’s history. Maryland had not elected a Republican governor in almost 40 years.

Gov. Ehrlich believed it a constitutional, statutory and moral responsibility to undertake a serious and innovative approach to executive clemency. From 2003-2007, he reviewed 444 applications and granted 228 pardons. He was nationally recognized for his progressive approach that helped free wrongly convicted defendants. To date, 99 percent of those pardoned have not reoffended, and many have made significant, positive changes in their lives.

The Ehrlich Center for Executive Clemency Studies was created to serve as a policy center and practical resource for those interested in learning about and involved with executive clemency procedures, as it advances a practical approach for innovative reform.

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