This Saturday, December 5, 12:00pm-1:30pm, the AMADOU DIALLO FOUNDATION will host a Zoom Forum with top local leaders in law and law enforcement, covering the controversial issue of DA IMMUNITY. District Attorneys are conferred with immunity from criminal prosecution and suits for damages, as long as they are “acting within the scope of their duties”.
In other words, they can not be sued for “bad acts” the same way other public officials can. Forum moderator Graham Weatherspoon, a recurring contributor to Our Time Press, will cover this and more with Kadiatou Diallo, President, Amadou Diallo Foundation; Kevin Boyle, Professor, Justice, Law and Criminology, American University; Attorney Stephen L. Drummond and Attorney Casilda E. Roper-Simpson.
Attorney Roper-Simpson Speaks
Throughout my career as a Criminal Defense and Civil Rights attorney, I have sought justice for many people who did not know the criminal justice, nor how to navigate it. They often did not understand the system nor the role that members of the system plays in their quests for justice. It’s a system made up of the police, prosecutors, defense attorney and judges. We all are bound to work together for the people and to serve the people.
We may be on different sides of the bench, but our goal should be fair and equal justice for the people – whether it results in a conviction or acquittal. In fact, this system cannot and does not work unless each part of the system seeks justice and executes its functions fairly and adequately, according to the law and the constitution. People are hurting and members of the community feel wronged and they are losing faith in it mainly due to the stories and images of overturned convictions and prosecutorial wrongdoing.
And it’s up to the system to fix this. It’s up to the system to educate the people about the system, their rights within the system and the various ways to improve the system. The police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges can never lose sight of the overall purpose – seeking justice for the people.
It is imperative that the Judicial system constantly audits itself to assure that the purpose of its very existence brings us closer to justice and not apart from it.
About Ms. Roper-Simpson
Ms. Roper-Simpson, an Administrative Law Judge in the public sector, and a former Senior Staff Attorney for the Division of Human Rights in the Prosecution Housing Litigation Unit, commenced her legal career in private practice more than 20 years ago. Attorney Roper -Simpson practiced in federal and state courts, specializing in criminal defense, personal injury, civil rights, family law, civil litigation, landlord/tenant, labor/employment and immigration.
Ms. Roper-Simpson was a part of the original legal team in the landmark case of Abner Louima in1997, a victim of one of the worst police brutality cases in New York City’s history. She has been an attorney on the Assigned Counsel Misdemeanor Panel for Nassau County and Kings County since 1997 and 1998, respectively, handling criminal matters for the indigent. She was an in-house attorney handling civil matters for clients such as Brooklyn Union Gas and Insurance Companies, while a senior attorney at Cullen & Dykman. She also was a transformational leader for the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation, training executives, physicians, and all levels of support staff in developing patient-centered processes that streamlined healthcare delivery.
In addition to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the Caribbean American Lawyers Association, Ms. Roper-Simpson is a board member of Square Circle and a member of the Arbiter Association and the 100 Black Women of Long Island. Her extensive pro-bono work includes counsel for the Brooklyn Bar Volunteer Lawyers Association; Life Camp; and the Vanguard Association in Bedford Stuyvesant. Her humanitarianism efforts include volunteering at St. Matthews’ Thrift Shop; mentoring troubled teenagers at alternative high schools in Brooklyn and Long Island, and providing Religion instructor at St. Martha’s School.
The Panama-born, Brooklyn raised attorney currently is an adjunct Professor at Molloy College in the Criminal Justice and Paralegal Department and a former adjunct lecturer at New York City Community College (CUNY). She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baruch College (CUNY) in 1987, and her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School in 1994.
Ms. Roper-Simpson is currently running for Kings County Civil Court Judge, 2021