By Sheila M. Murphy & Michael P. Seng, editors
This collection of essays on restorative justice surveys the different contexts in which restorative justice can be utilized in the practice of law and elsewhere. Restorative justice is in itself an elusive concept and the essays show how the meaning of restorative justice can shift depending upon the needs of the parties and the community. Restorative justice is not only related to criminal law and corrections. It is related to all aspects of life and law, including civil disputes, civil rights, interpersonal relationships, and personal growth and self-awareness. Consequently, the essays roam over many fields: housing discrimination, family disputes, the war on drugs, the death penalty, juvenile courts, the law school curriculum, torture, immigration, clergy sexual abuse, international conflicts, yoga, and self-healing. The book calls for action as well as reflection.
Sheila M. Murphy is a retired Illinois trial judge. She was Presiding Judge of the Markham court. Its jurisdiction consisted of 37 towns and over 1 million people. Among the many cases she heard was the case of Verneal Jimerson who had been condemned to death. His innocence became evident in a de novo hearing and Judge Murphy dismissed his indictment and freed him. In her retirement she assisted Dominique Green advocating against the death penalty in his case in Texas. Dominique’s case is the subject matter of a book by Thomas Cahill, “A Saint on Death Row.” Prior to becoming a judge, Sheila Murphy served as a Cook County Public Defender for seven years and as a panel lawyer for the Federal Defenders of Northern District of Illinois for eleven years. Judge Murphy graduated from Marquette University, where she met her husband, Patrick Racey. In 2014 she was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Illinois Judges Association. Together with Professor Michael Seng she designed a unique course in restorative justice at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Law students learn restorative justice and then bring it to schools, communities and courts. Sheila Murphy has lectured on restorative justice in China, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Slovakia, Taiwan, and recently, Norway.
Michael P. Seng is a professor at The John Marshall Law School where he teaches a variety of courses focused on constitutional law, civil rights, and comparative law. He is the co-director of The John Marshall Law School Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Clinic. He is also the director of International Student Programs at The John Marshall Law School. Before teaching, he was in private practice and was directing attorney for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Office in Cairo, Illinois, where he litigated many civil rights cases. He was a Fulbright Professor in Nigeria and in the Czech Republic. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Notre Dame Law School. He has been teaching restorative justice with Judge Murphy since 2011.
Paperback, July 2015, 374 pages