Eric Sterling, Esq.
Since 1989, Eric Sterling is the former executive director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice problems. Mr. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges and universities, and to professional societies throughout the nation about criminal justice issues. Mr. Sterling is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in Sociology at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Sterling was Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, (Rep. William J. Hughes (D-NJ), Chairman), he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement, among many issues. He was a principal aide in developing the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, and other laws. He has traveled to South America, Europe, and many parts of the United States to examine the crime and drug problems first hand. In the 96th Congress, he worked on comprehensively rewriting the Federal Criminal Code. Mr. Sterling was honored by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Mr. Sterling is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Mr. Sterling was a participant in the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado for a decade. He served on the adjunct faculty of American University. His analyses have been published in the Villanova Law Review, Valparaiso Law Review, Fordham Urban Law Journal, American Criminal Law Review, Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review, Margins (Maryland’s Law Journal on Race, Religion, Gender, and Class), Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Houston Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, Christian Social Action, Legal Times, Public Management, The Progressive, Law Enforcement News, and other journals. He served on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Drug Abuse in Washington, on the Baltimore Mayor’s Task Force on Drug Policy, and numerous civic organizations. He was an assistant public defender in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He is a liaison to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Substance Abuse and a past chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.
Mr. Sterling’s opinion is regularly reported by the national news media. Mr. Sterling has been quoted on the front pages of New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and Los Angeles Times. His expert analysis is used by Members of Congress, legislators, nationally syndicated columnists, major network television news programs, NPR, Pacifica Radio, 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC 20/20, PBS Frontline, etc. He has been a guest on CNN, FOX, COURT TV, Donahue, Gil Gross, Diane Rehm, Jim Bohannon, Oliver North, etc. He has debated U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.(D-DE), then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III; then-DEA Administrator Robert Bonner; then-U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), and other officials about the “War on Drugs.” In 1999 he was honored with the Justice Gerald LeDain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law by the Drug Policy Foundation.
Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years. Mr. Sterling helped found FAMM – Families Against Mandatory Minimums, in 1991, and serves on its board. He helped found FEAR – Forfeiture Endangers American Rights, in 1993, and served on its board. He helped found the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in 1995, and serves on its board. He helped found the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers in 1997 and is now President of its board. He helped found the Partnership for Responsible Drug Information, Inc., the national board of directors for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the board of directors for the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), Flex Your Rights Foundation, and Sex Workers Outreach Project.
Mr. Sterling received a Bachelor of Arts in 1973 from Haverford College (Pa.) majoring in religion, and his Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law in 1976. He graduated from Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, led wilderness canoe trips for high school students, and climbed the Matterhorn in 1979. He lives in Chevy Chase, MD with his wife, June S. Beittel, and their daughter, Maya Rebecca Sterling.