Lefstein Named 2005 "Champion of Indigent Defense"
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has named Norman Lefstein, professor of law and dean emeritus, as the 2005 “Champion of Indigent Defense.” As Chair of the Indigent Defense Advisory Group of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) for the past six years, Lefstein has been responsible for overseeing the ABA’s efforts to improve indigent defense systems around the country. He is also a four-term Chair of the Indiana Public Defender Commission, a position to which two Indiana governors have appointed him.
Most recently, Professor Lefstein oversaw the research and writing of a comprehensive SCLAID report on the nationwide crisis in indigent defense, Gideon’s Broken Promise: America’s Continuing Quest for Equal Justice (February 2005).
"For four decades, Professor Lefstein has championed the cause of poor persons accused of crimes, using every opportunity to fight for reform of the nation’s broken indigent defense systems," said Bill Whitehurst, SCLAID Chair, who nominated Lefstein for the award.
Law school Interim Dean Susanah Mead spoke highly of Lefstein’s service, "We are very proud to have Norm Lefstein as a member of our faculty. His tireless dedication to providing effective assistance of counsel to the indigent is truly inspirational. He is an exceptionally deserving recipient of the honor NACDL has bestowed upon him."
Professor Lefstein’s other activities with the American Bar Association have included serving as Chair of the Section of Criminal Justice in 1986-1987; serving as Reporter for the Second Edition of ABA Criminal Justice Standards Relating to The Prosecution Function, The Defense Function, Providing Defenses Services, and Pleas of Guilty; and chairing the committee that drafted the third edition of those standards. Professor Lefstein also was involved with the adoption of the ABA Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System in 2002, as well as the ABA Guidelines on Contribution Fees for the Costs of Counsel in Criminal Cases in 2004.
The NACDL Champion of Indigent Defense Award recognizes an individual for outstanding efforts in making positive changes to a local, county, state, or national indigent defense system.