Resolution J5946-2013

Honoring John Richard Dunne on his designation as recipient of the Champion of Justice Award

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Actions

  • Jun 17, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Jun 17, 2014: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Jun 13, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION honoring John Richard Dunne upon the occasion of
his designation as recipient of the Prisoners'  Legal  Services  of  New
York's inaugural Champion of Justice Award on October 24, 2014

WHEREAS,  It  is the custom of this Legislative Body to honor and recog-
nize individuals who have made significant contributions to the advance-
ment of civil and human rights  and  have  distinguished  themselves  in
their  dedication  and commitment to their community, to New York State,
and to their country; and
  WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is proud to acknowledge the significant
milestones achieved throughout the career  of  this  outstanding  leader
whose achievements and advocacy have been instrumental in helping ensure
that  the  civil rights of all individuals, including those incarcerated
in New York State's prisons, are protected and enforced; and
  WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its  long-
standing  traditions,  it is the sense of this Legislative Body to honor
John Richard Dunne upon the occasion of his designation as recipient  of
the  Prisoners'  Legal  Services  of  New  York's  inaugural Champion of
Justice Award at its Anniversary  Celebration  on  Friday,  October  24,
2014; and
  WHEREAS,  Prisoners' Legal Services of New York is naming the Champion
of Justice Award in honor of John R. Dunne in recognition  and  appreci-
ation of his significant contributions to the betterment of our criminal
justice system and the treatment of indigent New Yorkers; and
  WHEREAS,  The  'Champion  of Justice' Award shall be the highest award
Prisoners' Legal Services of New York bestows; and
  WHEREAS, John R. Dunne is a New York attorney who currently serves  as
senior  partner  at the Albany law firm of Whiteman, Osterman and Hanna;
he served as the Assistant United States Attorney General for the  Civil
Rights  Division  under  President  George H.W. Bush for four years from
1990-1994; he also served as a member of the New York  Senate  from  the
6th District for 23 years from 1966 to 1989; and
  WHEREAS,  As  a  New York State Senator, John R. Dunne, as Chairman of
the Senate Corrections Committee, was a major figure  seeking  to  quell
tensions  during the 1971 Attica uprising during which he, together with
others, including NEW YORK  TIMES  editor  Tom  Wicker  and  Assemblyman
Arthur Eve, negotiated with the prisoners; and
  WHEREAS,  As an original sponsor of the Rockefeller drug laws, John R.
Dunne subsequently argued for major changes  in  New  York's  drug  laws
which were ultimately enacted into law; and
  WHEREAS, John R. Dunne has served on the Board of Directors of Prison-
ers'  Legal  Services of New York for over two decades and has worked to
ensure the provision of high quality, effective legal representation and
assistance to indigent prisoners to help them  secure  their  civil  and
human  rights  and  has advocated for more humane prisons and for a more
humane criminal justice system; and
  WHEREAS, As a member of the Board of  Directors  of  Prisoners'  Legal
Services of New York, John R. Dunne has, on several occasions, presented
testimony  at the Joint Legislative Budget Hearings on Public Protection
conducted by the Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance  Commit-
tees  in support of the work of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York as
a vital  and  cost  effective  component  of  New  York  State's  public
protection  efforts by helping to reduce tension in prisons and increas-
ing the likelihood that prisoners will be able to  successfully  reinte-
grate into society when they are released; and
  WHEREAS,  John  R.  Dunne  has  been  recognized several times for his
contributions to the law in New York State, earning  him  the  New  York

State  Bar  Association's  Gold Medal Award in 2006, among other awards;
and
  WHEREAS, The New York Bar Foundation named its fund for legal services
for indigent persons after John R. Dunne; and
  WHEREAS,  John  R.  Dunne,  in 2004, was appointed by then Chief Judge
Judith Kaye to serve on her Commission on the Future of  Indigent  Legal
Services  and so served from 2004--2006 during which time the Commission
issued a report regarding the State's constitutional and statutory obli-
gation to protect the rights of the indigent accused; and
  WHEREAS, In 2006, John R. Dunne was appointed Chairman of a task force
charged with reforming the State's probation system; and
  WHEREAS, John R. Dunne also sits on the Board of Directors of the  New
York  State  Office  of  Indigent  Legal Services whose mission it is to
monitor, study and make efforts to improve the quality of legal services
provided to the indigent accused; and
  WHEREAS, John R. Dunne graduated from Georgetown  University  in  1951
and earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 1954; and
  WHEREAS,  With him throughout his life have been his wife, Denise, and
his four children and several grandchildren, all of whom feel privileged
to be a part of his life and rejoice in his achievements; and
  WHEREAS, It is the practice of this Legislative Body that  when  indi-
viduals of such noble aims and accomplishments are brought to our atten-
tion,  they  should  be celebrated and recognized by all the citizens of
this great Empire State; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
honor John Richard Dunne upon the occasion of his designation as recipi-
ent of the Prisoners' Legal Services of New York's inaugural Champion of
Justice Award on October 24, 2014; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Prisoners' Legal Services of New York to be presented to John
R.  Dunne  at  the  40th  Anniversary  Celebration  of  Prisoners' Legal
Services to be held on October 24, 2014.

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