2016 Thomas Willis Lambeth Lecture
“Reforming Our Criminal Justice System”
A Conversation Between the Honorable Alex Kozinski and the Honorable Thomas W. Ross
September 29, 2016
The 2016 Lambeth Lecturer featured Judge Alex Kozinski, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit since 1985 and its Chief Judge from 2007 to 2014. Often described as a libertarian, Judge Kozinski came to the U.S. at the age of 12 as the son of Romanian refugees and Holocaust survivors. He has written articulately and often provocatively on criminal justice reform, the death penalty, intellectual property law, and other important topics. Prior to his appointment to the appellate bench, Judge Kozinski served as Assistant Counsel to President Reagan and from 1982 to 1985 as Chief Judge of the United States Claims Court. He served as Law Clerk to then-Circuit Judge Anthony M. Kennedy during 1975-76, and to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger during 1976-77. Judge Kozinski earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1972, and the J.D. degree from UCLA Law School in 1975.
This lecture took the form of a conversation between Judge Kozinski and UNC President Emeritus Tom Ross. Prior to his service at UNC, Tom Ross served as President of Davidson College, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, and a Superior Court judge, and as lead author of North Carolina’s 1994 “structured sentencing” reforms. Among many honors, he received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence (2000), given annually to one state judge in the nation; Governing Magazine’s National Public Official of the Year Award (1994); the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice Award (1995); the American Society of Criminology President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Justice (2007); and the NC Bar Association Citizen Lawyer Award (2010). Ross earned the bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College in 1972, and graduated with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 1975.
The Lambeth Distinguished Lectureship was endowed in 2006 to bring to campus speakers who are distinguished practitioners and/or scholars of public policy, particularly those whose work touches on the fields of education, ethics, democratic institutions, and civic engagement.
The program can be found here.