THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES DIANA E. MURPHY, RUBEN CASTILLO, STERLING JOHNSON, JR., JOSEPH KENDALL, MICHAEL O'NEILL, WILLIAM K. SESSIONS III, AND JOHN R. STEER TO THE UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION
The President today announced his intent to nominate Diana E. Murphy as Chair and Member and Ruben Castillo, Sterling Johnson, Jr., Joseph Kendall, Michael O'Neill, William K. Sessions III, and John R. Steer to serve as Members of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Judge Diana E. Murphy, of Minneapolis, Minnesota has served as a Circuit Judge for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals since 1994. From 1980-1994, she served as a District Judge for the District of Minnesota, and from 1992-1994, served as Chief Judge. She was a Judge for Minnesota District Court, Fourth Judicial District, from 1978-1980. She was a Judge for Hennepin County Municipal Court from 1976-1978. From 1974-1976, Judge Murphy was an associate with the Minneapolis firm of Lindquist and Vennum. Judge Murphy received a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law.
Judge Ruben Castillo, of Chicago, Illinois, has served as a District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 1994. From 1991-1994, he served as a partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland and Ellis. He was the Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1988-1991. Judge Castillo served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1984-1988 and was previously with the firm of Jenner and Block. He has served as adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law. Judge Castillo received a B.A. degree from Loyola University of Chicago, and a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., of Queens, New York, has served as a District Judge for the Eastern District of New York since 1991. From 1975-1991, he was the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City. From 1974-1975, he was Executive Liaison Officer for the Drug Enforcement Administration. From 1970-1974, he was Executive Director of the New York City Civilian Complaint Board. He served with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1967-1970 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Judge Johnson received a B.A. degree from Brooklyn College and a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School.
Judge Joe Kendall, of Dallas, Texas, has served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas since 1992. From 1987-1992, he served as a State Criminal District Judge for the 195th Judicial District Court. Previously, Judge Kendall was a private practice attorney, an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County, and a police officer for the Dallas Police Department. Judge Kendall has been a board certified criminal law specialist in Texas since 1985. He received a Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University, and a J.D. degree from the Baylor University School of Law.
Mr. Michael O'Neill, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has served as an Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law since 1998. He is an expert in criminal law and criminal procedure. Previously, he has served as General Counsel for the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and as an appellate litigator in the Justice Department's Criminal Division Appellate Section. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and for the Honorable David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. O'Neill received a B.A. degree from Brigham Young University and a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.
Judge William K. Sessions, III, of Cornwall, Vermont, has served as a District Judge for the District of Vermont since 1995. From 1978-1995, he was a partner with the Middlebury firm of Sessions, Keiner, Dumont, and Barnes. He previously served in the Office of the Public Defender for Addison County. He has served as a professor at the Vermont Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Vermont Law School. Judge Sessions received a B.A. degree from Middlebury College and a J.D. degree from the George Washington School of Law.
John R. Steer, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, has served since 1987 as the General Counsel of the United States Sentencing Commission, where he is responsible for advising the Commission on the statutory mandates and the application and amendment of the federal sentencing guidelines. From 1986-1987, he served as Chief Deputy General Counsel to the Commission. Previously, Mr. Steer had a long career with the United States Senate, including service as Legislative Director/Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1979-1985, and as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond from 1985-1986. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University, and a J.D. degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission is an independent commission in the judicial branch which establishes policies and practices for the federal courts, including guidelines prescribing the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes.