Maryland Appeals Judge Andrew Sonner Recieves _ Criminal Justice Section Award

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 14, 2003 — The _ Criminal Justice Section today awarded its Charles English Award to Judge Andrew Sonner of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, during a reception at the Wyndham City Center Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The award was presented by Norman Maleng, chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and district attorney of King County (Seattle), Wash.

Sonner served as the state’s attorney of Montgomery County, Md., from 1971 until his 1996 appointment to Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals by then-Gov. Paris Glendening.

“Andy was one of the first prosecutors I met at national meetings of bar organizations over 24 years ago when I first was elected the district attorney of King County,” said Maleng.  “He was active in efforts to improve the nation’s justice system long before that, and his dedication to justice continues to this day.”

Judge Irma Raker, Maryland Court of Appeals judge and chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Criminal Justice Standards Committee, also spoke on behalf of Sonner at the presentation ceremony.

“It has been my pleasure to have a long-time professional relationship with Andrew Sonner, as a prosecutor and now as a judicial colleague,” she said.  “He was a good friend of Charlie English and I was privileged to work with both of them as they worked to revise the ABA Standards for Criminal Justice, which set the benchmark for fair and balanced practices in criminal justice.  He epitomizes the qualities this award was created to recognize.”

The award is named after Charles English, a prominent lawyer from Santa Monica, Calif., who represented many high-profile Hollywood entertainment clients in criminal matters.  English, who chaired the section’s Criminal Justice Standards Committee in 1997-1998, dedicated his talent, time and personal resources to improving the justice system.  The Criminal Justice Section established the award in 2000 to recognize lawyers and judges who provide exceptional service to the section; engage in activities that increase the stature and professionalism of lawyers; and enhance the relationship between prosecutors and defense lawyers by setting an example that subordinates parochial defense bar and prosecution views in favor of achieving results that promote fairness and justice.

Founded in 1920, the ABA Criminal Justice Section takes primary responsibility for the Association’s work on solutions to issues involving crime, criminal law, and the administration of criminal and juvenile justice.  The section plays an active leadership role in bringing the views of the ABA to the attention of federal and state courts, Congress, and other federal and state judicial, legislative, and executive policy-making bodies.  The section also serves as a resource to its members on issues in the forefront of change in the criminal justice arena.

The _ is the largest voluntary professional membership association in the world.  With more than 400,000 members, the ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public.

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