Christina Swarns, Director of LDF’s Criminal Justice Project, has been invited by Christiane Féral-Schuhl, the President of the Paris Bar, to participate in the upcoming Paris Bar Conference, “Ces Femmes Qui Portent La Robe – Femmes Engages, Femmes de Réseau” (“These Women Who Wear the Robe – Women Engaged, Women Networking”). This event will take place on International Women’s Day, Friday, March 8, 2013, at La Maison du Barreau in Paris. Christina will discuss her human rights work in the United States in a roundtable conversation with women lawyers from Iran, Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. Additionally, on Thursday, March 7, 2013, Christina will participate in a press conference for the presentation of Christiane Féral-Schuhl’s book, “Ces Femmes Qui Portent la Robe” (“These Women Who Wear the Robe”), which traces the careers of 20 extraordinary women, including Christina Swarns.
Christina Swarns has Directed LDF’s Criminal Justice Project since 2003. Under her leadership, LDF has secured victories in numerous criminal/capital cases including Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mumia Abu-Jamal (Pennsylvania death sentence vacated for erroneous jury instructions); Brister v. Mississippi (mandatory life without parole sentence for child offender declared unconstitutional); Rosales v. Dretke (Texas capital murder conviction and death sentence vacated because of prosecutor’s intentional discrimination in jury selection); Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Raymond Whitney (Pennsylvania death sentence declared unconstitutional after Mr. Whitney is found to suffer from mental retardation); Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Zachary Wilson (Pennsylvania first-degree murder conviction and life sentence vacated because of prosecutor’s intentional discrimination in jury selection). Christina was recently profiled in the ABAJournal where she was dubbed, “The Lady of the Last Chance”. She was also profiled by the Washington Post: . Prior to joining LDF, Christina served as a Supervising Assistant Federal Defender in the Federal Community Defenders for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in New York. She is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.