Prisoner rights advocate joins forces with retired federal judge

DOVER — Prisoner rights advocate Kenneth Abraham is joining forces with a retired federal judge to represent those unable to hire a lawyer.

The former deputy attorney general will serve as a consultant to Richard A. Posner’s new nonprofit venture aimed at protecting the rights of inmates with legal claims against the criminal justice system.

The move was announced through a news release issued Monday.

The Chicago-based Mr. Posner, who served as U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit judge while issuing more than 3,300 opinions, hopes to create a nationwide network of attorneys and consultants to assist citizens with free legal representation, Mr. Abraham said.

“We can replicate what I’ve been doing on my own for so long — helping so many people getting hammered by the

Ken Abraham

criminal justice system,” Mr. Abraham said.

The scope of cases considered for assistance will be wide ranging, Mr. Abraham said, likely including criminal matters, prison abuse allegations and misconduct by Family Court staff.

According to Mr. Abraham when discussing his partnership with Mr. Posner, “We make a pretty good team: He, a lifelong intellectual, scholar, law professor, economist and judge, and yours truly, who has ‘been in the trenches’, worked with, lived with, played with, committed crimes with (when on drugs), mentored, and otherwise associated with a wide variety of folks, from homeless addicts to chief justices of the Supreme Court of Delaware. I bring some new perspectives to the issues.”

Additionally, Mr. Abraham described himself as “a little bit in awe, humbled and flattered” to be consulting with Mr. Posner, a former University of Chicago Law School professor “with a long history of active participation in litigation and in scholarly activity focused on economic analysis of law.”

Mr. Posner is a member of the New York State Bar and has authored 66 books.

The plan is for Mr. Abraham to annually address project affiliated-attorneys on the process of prisoners applying for commutation and clemency.

“For many pro se inmates, and unfortunately many lawyers as well, they just don’t realize that this is the best and likely only way for them to get out before their sentences expire,” Mr. Abraham said.

Mr. Abraham founded the Citizens for Criminal Justice nonprofit based in Dover. For more information, contact him at 423-4067 or kenabraham3138@gmail.com or go online to www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net.

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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