Category: Press & Internal News

Governor Brown Appoints Chief Deputy Christopher Dybwad as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge

Posted on June 1, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today announced the appointment of Christopher Dybwad, the Chief Deputy with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Christopher W. Dybwad, 43, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Dybwad has been chief deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Central District of California since 2014, where he has served in several positions since 2005, including […]..

Governor Brown Appoints Stephanie Thornton-Harris as San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge

Posted on June 1, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today announced the appointment of Stephanie Thornton-Harris, an attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, as a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge. Stephanie E. Thornton-Harris, 54, of Pasadena, has been appointed to a judgeship in the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Thornton-Harris has served as a deputy federal public defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Central District of California since 2012. She served as a bench officer at the San Bernardino County […]..

Governor Brown Appoints Ashfaq (Ron) Chowdhury as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge

Posted on February 27, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today announced the appointment of Ashfaq (Ron) Chowdhury, an attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Ashfaq (Ron) G. Chowdhury, 43, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Chowdhury has served as a deputy federal public defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California since 2010. He was an associate at Cole […]..

Ninth Circuit Vacates 15-year ACCA Sentence and Remands for Resentencing

Posted on February 1, 2018

Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California’s DFPD Jonathan Libby successfully convinced the 9th Circuit that our client’s prior convictions for Alabama robbery and California second degree robbery were not crimes of violence under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The panel vacated a sentence and remanded for resentencing in a case in which the district court imposed an enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) (ACCA), on the ground that the defendant had four prior convictions for violent felonies. […]..

Former Federal Public Defender Sean Kennedy Helps Loyola Law School CJLP Receive $1 Million Grant

Posted on November 20, 2017

The Everychild Foundation announced today that its 2017 $1 million grant has been awarded to the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy (CJLP) at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The grant, payable over three years, will help launch the Everychild Integrated Educational and Legal Advocacy Project.  The project aims to stop the school-to-prison pipeline for “crossover youth,” the name given to foster youth who are also involved in the juvenile justice system. The program anticipates serving 300 unduplicated such youth. When a child enters the […]..

Attorney Seema Ahmad takes part in the Muslim Public Affairs Council annual convention in Los Angeles on bridging the divides in religion, race, and politics.

Posted on November 5, 2017

The Muslim Public Affairs Council annual convention in Los Angeles held a series of panel discussions on bridging the divides in religion, race, and politics. This panel highlighted the challenges between balancing national security and law enforcement with the civil rights of citizens. Our very own Seema Ahmad  was a member of the panel...

Texas Appeals Court Stays the Execution of Clinton Young

Posted on October 18, 2017

Case remanded to Midland Court for review of alleged false testimony Los Angeles, CA. (October 18, 2017) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this morning issued a stay of the October 26 execution of inmate Clinton Young and remanded the case to a Midland District Court to determine if his conviction was based on false testimony. The court’s order comes after the Office of the Federal Public Defender filed papers earlier this month challenging Young’s conviction and sentence. The filing included sworn affidavits from […]..

New Evidence Shows Texas Death Row Inmate Innocent of 2001 Murder

Posted on October 10, 2017

Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California seeks a stay of October 26th execution. MIDLAND, Tex (Oct. 10, 2017) ­‑ Citing compelling new scientific evidence, a 34-year-old death row inmate has asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to vacate his scheduled October 26 execution for the 2001 murder of a man in Midland. Attorneys for inmate Clinton Young, also have asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend that the Governor grant clemency or a reprieve, saying the new […]..

Sentences Reduced by 1,752 Months for 17 Clients in Past 12 Months Following Johnson Decision

Posted on October 6, 2017

In 2015, in a case called Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was void for vagueness.The ACCA is a United States federal law that provides sentencing enhancements for felons who commit crimes with firearms if they are convicted of certain crimes three or more times. If convicted under ACCA, the law imposes a special mandatory prison term of 15 years. Following the Johnson decision, the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central […]..

Eliseo Medina Visits FPD-CDCA to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on October 5, 2017

In honor of the 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, this year the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California was joined by prominent labor and immigration advocate Eliseo Medina. Mr. Medina arrived to the United States as a child with his family in the 1950s under the Bracero Program. As a teenager, he worked alongside civil rights giant Cesar Chavez organizing farm workers. He later went on to work for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), becoming the first Mexican-American elected to […]..