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Stuart, Edblad Named Visiting Fellows at Law School's Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Institute

SEPTEMBER 26, 2012—The Law School's Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice has awarded Visiting Fellowships to Minnesota Public Defender John Stuart for fall 2012 and Isanti County (Minn.) Attorney Jeff Edblad for spring 2013.

Visiting Fellowships provide individuals working in criminal law and criminal justice the necessary time and support to pursue projects that connect with the Institute's work and aims. Recipients may include prosecutors, public defenders, other lawyers interested in criminal law, policy-makers, judges, police or prison officials, or others working in criminal justice.

"These two veteran practitioners bring to the Robina Institute deep knowledge of the criminal law and its administration," says Executive Director Michael Smith. "They will help anchor our inquiries in the reality that we study and that we aim to improve."

Stuart has worked as a public defender in Minnesota since 1978. For the past 22 years, as State Public Defender, he has supervised a developing statewide system that provides adult and juvenile court defense services to all 87 counties, employing 500 lawyers, full and part time, and 200 support staff in 32 offices.

He served for seven years as co-chair of the American Council of Chief Defenders, and for five years on the faculty of the National Defender Leadership Institute. He has trained public defenders in 15 states and in Eastern Europe.

Edblad, in his fifth term as Isanti County Attorney, is also an adjunct professor at Anoka Ramsey Community College, where he is a member of the political science and sociology departments. He has chaired the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission since 2007 and is a member of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association Board of Directors.

He was recognized by the Minnesota Bar Association's Public Law Section with the 2008 Julius E. Gernes Prosecutor Award of Excellence, and also by the Minnesota County Attorneys Association with its 2009 Johnson Distinguished Service Award.

During their time as Visiting Fellows, Stuart and Edblad will assist the Institute in connecting with practitioners around the state. Stuart will explore how sentencing guidelines systems change and how public defenders can be more involved with criminal justice policy development. Edblad will focus on sentencing issues and hopes to work directly with students interested in trial advocacy and criminal prosecution.

The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, supported by a major long-term grant from the Robina Foundation, works with policy-makers, practitioners, and a wide range of leading scholars to improve criminal justice systems that are widely recognized to be ineffective, overly costly, overly severe, and insufficiently attentive to the needs and interests of victims. The Institute engages in interdisciplinary, policy-oriented study of the criminal justice system.

The Minneapolis-based Robina Foundation was established by St. Paul native James H. Binger (’41) shortly before his death in 2004. Binger charged the Foundation with supporting projects that have the potential to transform existing institutions, policies, and practices. The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice aims to participate in the work of creating criminal justice systems fit for the 21st century and for the citizens of a contemporary democracy.

For more information about the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, please contact Administrator David Hanbury at (612) 625-8093 or dhanbury@umn.edu.


John Stuart

John Stuart


Jeff Edblad

Jeff Edblad