Justinian Society & Criminal Justice Section Present Eleventh Annual Cesare Beccaria Award to A. Charles Peruto, Sr.
The Justinian Society and Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association presented the Eleventh Annual Cesare Beccaria Award. A. Charles Peruto, Sr., Esquire is the award recipient, recognized for his contribution to the cause of justice and the advancement of legal education. The presentation was held in the Mayor’s Reception Room and Conversation Hall in Philadelphia on November 22, 2004.
Peruto was introduced by his long-time friend and colleague, Honorable John R. Padova, District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Peruto was likened to Beccaria in many ways, but particularly as a visionary, leader, educator, advocate of the people, and believer in true justice. Judge Padova said, "The mind and faith of A. Charles Peruto aptly finds its description in the following words of Beccaria: 'In the eye of the law, every man is innocent whose crime has not been proved...If I can but be the instrument of preserving one life, his blessings and tears of transport shall be a sufficient consolation to me for the contempt of all mankind.'"
Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794), has been revered as the “Father of the Modern Criminal Justice System.” An 18th Century Italian scholar, Beccaria’s work is credited with aiding the subsequent European penal code reform and the eventual development of the American criminal justice system. Beccaria’s convictions presented in his 1764 essay Of Crimes and Punishments are present in the legal arena still today. This year marks the 210th anniversary of his death.
Presenters at the Eleventh Annual Cesare Beccaria included Gaetan J. Alfano, Esquire, Chancellor, The Justinian Society; Gabriel L.I. Bevilacqua, Esquire, Chancellor, The Philadelphia Bar Association; George R. Burrell, Esquire, Secretary of External Affairs City of Philadelphia; Burton A. Rose, Esquire, Former Chair, Criminal Justice Section Philadelphia Bar Association; and Honorable Denis P. Cohen, Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.
Special Thanks were extended to George H. Newman, Esquire, Chair, Criminal Justice Section, Philadelphia Bar Association, Cristina G. Cavalieri, Esquire, 2004 Beccaria Award Committee Chairperson, Michael C. Rainone, Esquire, Beccaria Award Chairman Emeritus.
Recent Cesare Beccaria Award Recipients include: Hon. Lisa A. Richette (1994), Prof. James A. Strazzella (1995), Hon. Abraham J. Gafni (1996), Mary DeFusco, Esquire (1997), Hon. Louis J. Presenza (1998), Prof. Edward D. Ohlbaum (1998), Donald C. Marino, Esquire (1999), Hon. Edmund B. Spaeth, Jr. (1999), L. Felipe Restrepo, Esquire (2000), Hon. Anthony J. Scirica (2001), Hon. Charles P. Mirarchi, Jr. (2002), Jules Epstein, Esquire (2003).
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Founded in 1935, the Justinian Society is a legal organization comprised of attorneys, judges and law students of Italian-ancestry. Located in Philadelphia, the Society's members celebrate generations of involvement within the legal community. "Justice is the constant and perpetual wish to render to every one his due."- Emperor Justinian