National ACLU Director Anthony Romero is Keynote Speaker at ACLU of PA Civil Liberties Dinner Tonight Honoring Death Penalty Lawyers

October 18, 2001 12:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA–The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania will honor the Defender Association of Philadelphia at its 20th Annual Civil Liberties Award Dinner here tonight. The evening, entitled, “Defending Freedom,” will feature a keynote address by Anthony Romero, the new executive director of the national ACLU.

“Lawyers from the Defender Association have been extremely successful in death penalty trials. No defendant represented by them has been sentenced to death since they began handling death penalty cases,” said Leslie Seymore, President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

In addition to its work in the courtroom, the Defender Association has also promoted vital research on the role that race plays in jury selection in death penalty cases in Philadelphia. Ellen Greenlee, Chief Defender of The Defender Association, will accept the civil liberties award on behalf of the group.

Anthony Romero, who on September 4 became the national ACLU’s sixth executive director, will deliver the evening’s keynote address. Romero is the first Latino and openly gay man to head the ACLU. Romero will be introduced by retiring City Solicitor for Philadelphia, Kenneth I. Trujillo.

In his comments tonight, Romero will outline the steps taken by the ACLU in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks to safeguard civil liberties and sensibly balance security concerns.

“We must not take for granted our basic freedoms, including the steadfast commitment to civil liberties and tolerance of others,” Romero said. “Nor should we be willing to sacrifice those fundamental values, nor look the other way as they are undermined.”

The dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

The website of the ACLU of Pennsylvania is online at .

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