Bringing Restoration to the Legal System: Where Do Mercy and Vengeance Fit? A Two Part Series on Restorative Justice (Part 1)

  • This event is archived.

Join us for a two-part series on the themes, theories, pitfalls and practices of restorative justice. During the first event on January 24th, writers Katharine Blake (SLS ’12) and Josie Duffy Rice will discuss the notion of restoration (or lack thereof) in our criminal legal system, touching on the current system’s reliance on vengeance and the absence of mercy. During the second event on January 31st, a panel of practitioners and advocates will discuss how the principles of restorative justice are operationalized, with both success and difficulty. This event series is open to all members of the community, but is timed to coincide with the teaching of first-year Criminal Law, in an effort to provide helpful context and framing as students encounter these subjects for the first time in their legal education.

Part 2 will be held on January 31, 2023. Click here for more information.

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Katharine Blake is the author of The Uninnocent: Notes on Violence and Mercy, which was chosen as a best book of the year by The New Yorker. She was an adjunct professor at Vermont Law School’s Center for Justice Reform, and has also taught at San Quentin Prison and clerked at the National Prison Project, the arm of the ACLU that brings class action suits against prisons that violate prisoners’ rights. Formerly, she was Director of Special Projects at the Children’s Defense Fund, where she worked closely with Marian Wright Edelman on gun safety measures, community organizing, and undoing the cradle to prison pipeline. She is a 2012 graduate of Stanford Law School.

Photo Credit: Sam T. McFarland


Josie Duffy Rice is a journalist, writer, law school graduate, and podcast host whose work is primarily focused on prosecutors, prisons, and other criminal justice issues. Currently, she’s an interim co-host of What a Day, Crooked Media’s daily news podcast. She is also the creator and co-host of the podcast Justice in America. Until May 2021, she was President of The Appeal, a news publication that publishes original journalism about the criminal justice system.

Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate, among others. She was a writer on the FX show The Premise. Josie was also a consulting producer for Campside Media’s Suspect, which recently hit #1 on the podcast charts. To learn more about Josie Duffy Rice, click here.


Criminal Law Society (CLS)

Stanford Criminal Justice Center (SCJC)

Admission Restrictions

This event is open to the Stanford community.

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