The Beccaria Committee is responsible for working with the Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association to award a legal jurist, scholar or practitioner for outstanding contributions to the cause of justice and the advancement or legal education.
Father of the Modern
Criminal Justice System
Cesare Beccaria was born in Milan, the eldest son in an aristocratic family. He studied at the Jesuit school in Parma and earned a degree in jurisprudence at the University of Pavia. From 1768 to 1770, Beccaria was a teacher of law and economics in Milan.
In his mid-twenties, Beccaria joined an intellectual circle known as Accademia dei Pugni (the Academy of Fists), which focused on reforming the criminal justice system.
In 1764, at age 26, Beccaria wrote On Crimes and Punishments, a brief essay which relentlessly protested against torture to obtain confessions, secret accusations, the arbitrary discretionary power of judges, inconsistency and inequality of sentencing, and the use of capital punishment. For Beccaria, the purpose of punishment was not to exact revenge but to create a better society by deterring others from committing crimes and by preventing the criminal from repeating his crime.
Almost immediately, Beccaria's work was translated into English and French and was hailed by the philosophers of his time. On Crimes and Punishments was the impetus for much needed reform in the criminal justice system.
Beccaria's ideas and words continue to be quoted, even today, by judges and advocates alike. This year marks the 214th anniversary of his death.
- 1994 - Hon. Lisa A. Richette
- 1995 - Prof. James A. Strazzella
- 1996 - Hon. Abraham J. Gafni
- 1997 - Mary DeFusco, Esquire
- 1998 - Hon. Louis J. Presenza & Prof. Edward D. Ohlbaum
- 1999 - Donald C. Marino, Esquire & Hon. Edmund B. Spaeth, Jr.
- 2000 - L. Felipe Restrepo, Esquire
- 2001 - Hon. Anthony J. Scirica
- 2002 - Hon. Charles P. Mirarchi, Jr.
- 2003 - Jules Epstein, Esquire
- 2004 - A. Charles Peruto, Sr., Esquire
- 2005 - David Rudovsky, Esquire
- 2006 - Michael C. Rainone, Esquire (Chair Emeritus)
- 2007 - Hon. Carolyn Engel Temin
- 2008 - Hon. Anthony J. De Fino
- 2009 - Gaetan Alfano, Esq.
- 2011 - Frank DeSimone, Esq.
- 2012 - Carmen C. Nasuti, Esq.
- 2013 - Burton A. Rose, Esq.
- 2014 - Daniel A Rendine, Esq.
- 2014 - Daniel M Rendine, Esq.
- 2015 - Troy H. Wilson, Esq.
- 2016 - Marc Stephen Raspanti, Esq.
- 2017 - Isla A. Fruchter, Esq.
- 2018 - Mark E. Cedrone, Esq. & Joseph D. Mancano, Esq.
- 2019 - Daniel Silverman, J.D., M.Ed.
- 2020 - George Bochetto, Esq.
- 2021 - Louis M. Natali Jr., Esq.
- 2022 - Nathan J. Andrisani, Esq.
- 2023 - Sara Jacobson, Esq.