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STAFF
Michael Rushford
Michael Rushford
President & CEO

Kent Scheidegger
Kent Scheidegger
Legal Director & General Counsel
Kymberlee Stapleton
Kymberlee Stapleton
Associate Attorney

Elizabeth Berger
Elizabeth Berger
Research Associate

Michael D. Rushford

Michael Rushford is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a nonprofit, public interest law organization dedicated to improving the administration of criminal justice.

Prior to forming the Foundation, Rushford served five years as Director of the California Chamber of Commerce Anti-Crime Department, where he raised funds and produced two award-winning statewide public service media campaigns, authored and helped gain passage of a number of legislative proposals dealing with crime, and authored the Guide to Crime Reduction, which has served as a model for anti-crime programs developed in more than 200 communities across the country.

Rushford’s earlier employment included paid consulting and coordinating work for statewide and Northern California political campaigns, production of Sacramento’s 1975 Easter Seal Telethon, and consultant to California’s Lieutenant Governor in 1972.  He served six years in the United States Air Force Reserve, while attending California State University, Sacramento.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
The False Promise and Lethal Consequences of Releasing Inmates (2009)
The Social Benefits of Confining Habitual Criminals, Stanford Law and Policy Review, Volume 11, Winter 1999, page 59.
Reinhardt's Lament, Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 18, 1996, page 6, col. 3.
Taking Crime Seriously: An Agenda for the Governor's Crime Summit, The Claremont Institute, Golden State Center for Policy Studies, No. 1994—28.

Kent S. Scheidegger

Kent Scheidegger has been the Legal Director of the CJLF since December 1986. He has written over 150 briefs in cases in the United States Supreme Court. He is the Past Chairman of the Criminal Law and Procedure Practice Group of the Federalist Society and has served on the groupís executive committee since 1996. His articles on criminal and constitutional law have been published in law reviews, national legal publications and Congressional reports. His legal arguments have been cited in the Congressional Record and incorporated in several precedent-setting U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

After receiving a degree in physics with honors from New Mexico State University in 1976, Mr. Scheidegger served for six years in the United States Air Force as a Nuclear Research Officer.

He took his law degree with distinction from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1982 and practiced civil law in Northern California. He was general counsel of California Cooler, Inc. from 1984 until 1986, when he joined CJLF.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND CASES
Rebutting the Myths About Race and the Death Penalty, 10 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 147 (2012)
Habeas Corpus, Relitigation, and the Legislative Power, 98 Colum.L.Rev. 888 (1998)
Overdue Process: A Study of Federal Habeas Corpus in Capital Cases and a Proposal for Reform (1995)
A Guide to Regulating Panhandling (1993)
Rethinking Habeas Corpus (1989)
Capital Punishment in 1987: The Puzzle Nears Completion, 15 West.St.L.Rev. 95 (1987)
Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989)
McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467 (1991)
Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808 (1991)
Tuilaepa v. California, 512 U.S. 967 (1994)
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995)
Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362 (2000)
Connecticut Dept. of Public Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1 (2003)
Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003)
Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426 (2004)
Cullen v. Pinholster, 131 S.Ct. 1388 (2011)

Kymberlee C. Stapleton is an Associate Attorney at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

Ms. Stapleton attended California State University, Chico where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science in 1997. While at Chico, Ms. Stapleton was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority, the Golden Key National Honor Society, and the National Order of Omega. She received her J.D. in 2000 from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon, where she served as the Note/Comment Editor of - and was published in - the Willamette Law Review. While at Willamette, she worked as a law clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice - Trial Division, Special Litigation Unit.

After graduating from Willamette, Ms. Stapleton worked as a Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Robert Wollheim at the Oregon Court of Appeals in Salem, Oregon. In 2002, she returned to California and was a Fellowship Attorney at CJLF. When her year-long fellowship term at CJLF came to an end, she worked as a Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Christopher M. Klein at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. of California. While there, she primarily researched and wrote bench memoranda and proposed draft opinions for the Ninth Circuitís Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. Ms. Stapleton returned to CJLF as an Associate Attorney in January 2016.

Ms. Stapleton is a member of the Oregon State Bar (inactive) and the California State Bar.

PUBLICATIONS:

Note, IOLTAís Uncertain Future After Phillips v. Washington Legal Foundation, 35 Willamette Law Review 211 (1999).

Elizabeth Berger is a Research Associate for the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

Ms. Berger is a published researcher and statistical methodologist specializing in policing. Prior to joining the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation in April 2021, Ms. Berger resided in the D.C. area and worked as a researcher, freelance writer, and translational scientist, conducting projects both independently and under guidance from organizations such as the University of Maryland, American Society of Evidence-Based Policing, and the Police Executive Research Forum. As part of these roles, Ms. Berger designed and lead applied research projects at federal, state, and local levels, including randomized controlled trials and use-of-force reviews in concert with police agencies such as Miami-Dade (FL), Prince Georgesí County (MD), Arlington (TX), and Palm Beach County Sheriff (FL). Ms. Berger also served as a scientific reviewer for several years, where she reviewed the methodological rigor of research articles for inclusion in government clearinghouses such as National Institute of Justiceís CrimeSolutions.gov and the Department of Educationís What Works Clearinghouse.

Prior to living in D.C., Ms. Berger conducted applied research with local agencies as a Research Associate at Sam Houston State University in Texas and at Niagara University in New York. She holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in Criminal Justice with concentrations in Statistics from Niagara University in Lewiston, NY.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

Sentence length and recidivism: A review of the research. (2021). Working paper available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3848025. Berger, Elizabeth and Scheidegger, Kent.

Citizen perceptions of body-worn cameras: A randomized controlled trial. (Forthcoming 2021). Sean Goodison and Elizabeth Berger.

Lethal force policy and data review. (2017). Technical Report prepared for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Tom Wilson, Jason Cheney, Elizabeth Berger, Sean Goodison, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Internal affairs policy and data review (2017). Technical Report prepared for the Columbus Division of Police. Wilson, Tom, Jason Cheney, Elizabeth Berger, Sean Goodison, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

The effectiveness of specialized legal counsel and case management services for offenders with mental illness. (2016). Health & Justice, 4(1). Bouffard, Jeffery, Elizabeth Berger, and Gaylene Armstrong.

Forecast of the Harris County, TX jail population: 2014Ė24. (2014). Technical report prepared for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. Berger, Elizabeth, Leana Bouffard, Gaylene Armstrong, Vince Webb and Sam Houston State University.