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2012 OBITUARIES

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Some of these individuals participated in the ASC Oral History Project. For more information, please go to the Oral History Project page.


GILBERT GEIS

Gilbert Geis, Professor Emeritus at UC, Irvine, passed away on November 10, 2012, after battling complications from heart surgery. Gil was one of the most respected scholars and widely beloved colleagues in criminology. He served as ASC President in 1976, and received the Sutherland Award in 1985. For over a decade he served as President of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the largest professional fraud prevention group in the world.

An incredibly prolific social scientist, Gil produced more than 500 articles and chapters, dozens of research monographs, and 26 books during a highly distinguished academic career. He was a brilliant writer, an elegant wordsmith, skills he had honed as a sports journalist. His work spanned eight decades, and is notable for its interdisciplinary quality, quantity, and remarkable breadth in a number of fields, including sociology, psychology, history, criminology, criminal justice, law, media studies, education, and policy studies. A partial list of topics includes education issues, race relations, Scandinavian studies, the death penalty, film censorship, prisons, prostitution, crime and crime victims, policing, community corrections, rehabilitation, organized crime, prisoner rights, evaluations, rape, homicide, victimless crimes, legal ethics, drugs, violence, social problems, good Samaritans, compensation, restitution, deterrence, witch trials, criminal justice policy, research methods,  medical fraud, comparative criminology, and white-collar and corporate crime. It is this last area for which he became best known, and indeed, which he kept alive.

Born Jan. 10, 1925 in New York City, as a teenager Gil worked as an usher on Broadway and collected tickets at NY Yankee and Giant baseball games before becoming a radioman in the Navy during World War II. He attended college under the GI Bill, earning a bachelor’s degree at Colgate University in New York (where he ran track), a master’s at Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma and California State University, Los Angeles, before joining the UCI faculty in 1971, where he played a significant role in establishing the School of Social Ecology and the Department of Criminology, Law and Society.

A member of the Lyndon Johnson’s President’s Commission on Law Enforcement & Administration of Justice, Gil was responsible for the white-collar crime section of the report. He was also a member of the National Council on Crime & Delinquency from 1973 to 1976.

Gil collaborated with scores of scholars and students throughout the world. His work on white-collar crime spawned a new generation of researchers who have broadened the scope of criminology. His major professional achievements and intellectual influences were saluted in a collection of original works (Contemporary Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice). The National White-Collar Crime Research Consortium named its distinguished scholar award in his honor.

Gilbert Geis was not only a giant in the field whose keen sense of justice and humanity was evident in everything he wrote, but an ideal mentor, colleague and dear friend to many. His legacy will guide scholars for many years to come.

Henry Pontell, Paul Jesilow, Joseph DiMento, and Arnold Binder, UC, Irvine
John Braithwaite, Australian National University
Robert Meier, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Mary Dodge, University of Denver
Sally Simpson, University of Maryland
Richard Wright, University of Missouri, St. Louis
David Shichor, California State University, San Bernardino


JOHN S. GOLDKAMP

John Goldkamp, age 64, Professor of Criminal Justice at Temple University, passed away on August 26, 2012, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

After completing his doctoral work at SUNY-Albanyin 1977, John came to Temple in 1978 and chaired the department from 1979 to1983. He was instrumental both in attracting a strong faculty and creating a rigorous academic program, and served again as chair from 2004 to 2010.
His work on pretrial release, questioning the use of cash as the currency of liberty, influenced major bail reform. In the 1980s, his research in Philadelphia led to the implementation of pretrial release decision guidelines, which later were adopted by other municipalities around the country. John was also among the first to recognize the significance of drug courts. In the early 1990s, his evaluation of the nation’s first drug court in Miami, Florida, documented the effectiveness of the drug court treatment. Drug courts now function across the country. Broadly, his research focused on discretion in criminal justice and innovation in the courts. Throughout his career he published three books, more than 50 articles and nearly 100 research reports.He worked closely with a substantial number of master’s and doctoral students.

John’s contributions to the field have been recognized: the Pioneer Award from the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies (1988); the Paul H. Chapman medal from the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice (2003); being named a Fellow of the AmericanAcademy of Experimental Criminology(2006); and this year’s recipient of the August Vollmer Award, to be presented posthumously at the ASC meeting (2012).

An avid swimmer, gardener, and Phillies’ fan, John will be remembered for his strong sense of humor, love of rock and roll trivia, all things French, and his deep and long-standing friendships. He is survived by his wife, Dr. Rely Vîlcică, two daughters, Aurora and Violet, and an extended family that loved him dearly.

Contributed by (alphabetically) M. Kay Harris, Phil Harris, Alan Harland, Jerry Ratcliffe, Ralph Taylor


HUGO BEDAU

Hugo Bedau, Philosopher Who Opposed Death Penalty, Dies at 85

by William Yardley

Hugo Bedau, a philosopher who preferred to wrestle with the knottiest of public policy issues rather than reason from the remove of academia ­ most notably in confronting capital punishment, which he opposed as immoral, unjust and ineffective ­ died on Monday in Norwood, Mass. He was 85.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Constance E. Putnam. Professor Bedau’s half-century career encompassed several cycles in the national debate over the death penalty: its decline and eventual rejection by the Supreme Court in 1972, its resurrection by the court later that decade, and its suspension in several states more recently. His most ambitious work, “The Death Penalty in America,” revised several times, has been a standard text since it was first published in 1964.

Professor Bedau (pronounced beh-DOUGH) took up the issue as well in “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” a pamphlet distributed widely for many years by the American Civil Liberties Union. Written with the help of Henry Schwarzschild, a former director of the group’s Capital Punishment Project, the publication brought together a number of arguments against the death penalty: that it failed to deter crime (using supporting data); that it was fraught with racial bias, wrongful convictions and excessive financial costs; and that it was ultimately an act of “barbarity.”

“The history of capital punishment in American society clearly shows the desire to mitigate the harshness of this penalty by narrowing its scope,” the pamphlet said in a section titled “Unfairness.” “Discretion, whether authorized by statutes or by their silence, has been the main vehicle to this end. But when discretion is used, as it always has been, to mark for death the poor, the friendless, the uneducated, the members of racial minorities and the despised, then discretion becomes injustice. Thoughtful citizens, who in contemplating capital punishment in the abstract might support it, must condemn it in actual practice.”

The essay, heavily footnoted, was less than 9,000 words long. Professor Bedau’s curriculum vitae was more than 13,000.

“We called him the dean of death penalty scholarship,” said Michael Radelet, a death penalty expert at the University of Colorado who began working with Professor Bedau in the 1980s. “Bedau was the first guy to put it all together and the first to make the general empirical argument against the death penalty ­ that is, a little race, a little deterrent, a little innocence.”

Hugo Adam Bedau was born on Sept. 23, 1926, in Portland, Ore., to Hugo Adam Bedau and Laura Romeis Bedau. (His parents chose not to name him Hugo Jr.) Young Hugo grew up in the San Francisco area. His father, who did not go to college, had a small library in which Hugo often spent time. He briefly studied naval science at the University of Southern California through the Navy’s V-12 program for officers but was discharged in 1946, after the war ended and before he had graduated.

He received a bachelor’s degree from University of Redlands in Southern California and did his graduate work in philosophy at Boston University and Harvard. The title of his doctoral thesis at Harvard was “The Concept of Thinking.”

Professor Bedau lectured at several universities but spent most of his career in the Boston area as an anchor of the philosophy department at Tufts, beginning in 1966. Among the many awards he received was the Abolitionist Award, given in 1989 by the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

“He articulated the case against the death penalty as well as anyone ever has,” Paul G. Cassell, a law professor, former federal judge and noted proponent of the death penalty, said in an e-mail.

Professor Bedau’s previous marriage, to the former Jan Mastin, ended in divorce. Besides Ms. Putnam, whom he married in 1990, he is survived by four children from his first marriage: Mark, Paul and Guy Bedau and Lauren Bedau Evans; two sisters, Carol Bell and Renee Larsen; and five grandchildren. He lived in Concord, Mass.

Ms. Putnam, a medical historian, said Professor Bedau was teaching at Princeton in the 1950s when the New Jersey Legislature was weighing measures in support of the death penalty. Struck by how little public debate the issue seemed to generate, he began to research capital punishment and eventually became immersed.

“It was anger, disappointment and frustration over discovering that something this significant in the so-called life of a society was going through the Legislature with so little public discussion or debate,” Ms. Putnam said.

Professor Bedau eventually testified on the issue before state legislatures and Congress, spoke to countless library groups, and delivered a series of lectures in 1994 as the Romanell-Phi Beta Kappa professor of philosophy while at Tufts. The lectures were collected in a book, “Making Mortal Choices,” published by Oxford University Press in 1997.

“He wasn’t a front-line protester; that wasn’t his role,” Ms. Putnam said. “His contribution was clarity of thinking.”

(Posted 8/21/12)


ROBBIN OGLE

Robbin Ogle, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) passed away unexpectedly on July 9, 2012 at the age of 51.  Robbin was a well-respected researcher and colleague, a dedicated mentor, and most importantly a compassionate and caring person who will be missed greatly by her family, friends and colleagues. 

Robbin joined the faculty at UNO in 1995 after receiving her Ph.D. in both Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies from Penn State University.  She was a gifted teacher and a patient and tireless mentor dedicated to furthering the best interests of her students both inside and outside of the classroom.   Robbin’s teaching and research focused primarily on correctional organizations and the intersection between gender and crime.  She was instrumental in developing new perspectives on crime that bettered our understanding of gender and violence.  She authored/co-authored numerous journal articles and book chapters, and in 2002, she published the book Self-Defense and Battered Women Who Kill: A New Framework, with her co-author Susan Jacobs. 

Robbin was devoted to her family and actively involved in her community.  She was especially drawn to causes which empowered girls and young women.   She personally influenced the lives of many young women in the Omaha area through her involvement in youth softball.  Robbin, or “Coach Robbie”, as she was affectionately referred to by her players, who herself had a very successful collegiate softball career, loved coaching and helping girls develop both as players and people. 

Submitted by Eric Wodahl (University of Wyoming) and Michael Harrington (Northern Michigan University)

(Posted 8/14/12)


TONY PETERS

The one metaphor that consistently comes to mind when trying to grasp the enormous diversity of Tony Peters’ work in criminology is that of a ‘builder of bridges’.

First of all, bridges between disciplines and sub-disciplines His double major in sociology and criminology provided him with a clear understanding of the societal dimension within total institutions like prisons, and the young researcher already in the 1970s visited prisons in Paris, New York and California to learn from other countries. In the 1980s, he shifted his attention to victims and victimology, and ten years later to practices of restorative justice between perpetrators and victims. He was able to integrate and even shape these three fields in a very creative and pragmatic manner. During four decades he travelled the world to give lectures on issues of detention, victimhood and restorative justice, and inspired many audiences with his vision of crime and justice.

Secondly, Tony Peters also liked to build bridges between institutions. In Leuven in the 1990s, he served as one of the founding fathers of the Erasmus programme in criminology, the coordinator of the EU-funded student and staff exchange project between Europe and Canada on Victimisation, Mediation and Restorative Justice, and the first director of the English Master Programme in European Criminology at the Faculty of Law. In his last years he was also the creator of the Observatory of Academic Criminology Programmes, aimed at providing information about such courses to students and scholars from all over the world. Several generations of young students, researchers and professors have been given the opportunity through his work to broaden their horizons and develop a truly comparative perspective on crime, criminology and criminal justice.

Tony also strongly supported the development of criminological research and teaching in Europe and beyond. The Hungarian colleagues reminded us recently how he worked with them “since the middle of the seventies, i.e., long before the fundamental changes in Central and Eastern Europe” had even surfaced; as a result of this commitment, he was offered in 2010 the Honorary Membership of the Hungarian Society of Criminology. The same happened in his ’second home’ Spain, where during many years he worked closely together with colleagues from San Sebastian, Barcelona and other places, resulting in several honorary awards.

It should be clear that Tony viewed the practice of building bridges in a very integrated way: he was not only the inspiring architect who would design the constructions and accompany their implementation from afar, but also the careful ‘master of the wharf’ who would supervise the building activities on a regular basis; and he was never afraid to act as the diligent construction worker who would not rest until the last nail was put in the right position.

His impressive international career culminated in his 15-year long service to the International Society for Criminology. He became the President of its Scientific Commission in 1998 and the general President of the Society in 2006 until his untimely death in April of 2012. Not coincidentally, in the past days multiple messages with condolences and expressions of deep sympathy and high esteem have reached us from the four corners of the globe, including from many countries of the European Union as well as Serbia and Turkey, Canada and the United States, China and Japan, South Africa and Australia, and several other places.

Although a giant in criminology, Tony always remained a very modest person. Both in his academic and personal life his Leitmotiv was ‘respect and tolerance’ for all persons, ideas and practices, except the ones that are intolerant and disrespectful themselves; and being a wise man he was always able to make that distinction.

(Posted 4/25/12)


ROSLYN (ROZ) MURASKIN

Dr. Roslyn (Roz) Muraskin, ACJS Secretary and professor of criminal justice, passed away on Saturday, April 21 after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 71 years old.  Roz was an accomplished criminal justice scholar and a leading advocate for women’s rights in the workplace. Her scholarly research focused on women’s leadership development; gender, race and the criminal justice system; and women prisoners in correctional facilities. She authored or co-authored more than 15 scholarly works, including five books.  A prominent advocate for women’s rights and a breast cancer survivor, Roz founded the Long Island Women’s Institute (LIWI) in 1991 to encourage women to become successful leaders and to break the proverbial “glass ceiling.” Her honors have included the Woman of the Year Award for Excellence from the Minorities and Women Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences; the Fellow Award (twice) from the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences; and recognition for her work in AIDS education from the Long Island Association for AIDS Care. She served on the board of the “Herstory” women writers’ workshop.  Roz  is survived by husband, Matthew Muraskin, an attorney; sons Seth and Craig; a daughter, Tracy Birkhahn; and six grandchildren, Lindsay, Nickia, Benjamin, Zachary, Sloane and Sydney. She is also survived by her mother, Alice Cashman, and brother, Richard Cashman.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to ovarian cancer research. A memorial service is being planned for September at LIU Post.

(Posted 4/23/2012)