Honorable Ronald Castille to deliver Law School commencement address in Carlisle

The Honorable Ronald D. Castille, chief justice of Pennsylvania, will be the featured speaker at the Law School's commencement ceremony on at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in Carlisle, Pa. Judge Brooks Smith will be the featured commencement speaker in University Park as was previously announced.

Castille assumed office as chief justice of Pennsylvania on Jan. 7, 2008. Having been first elected as a justice of the Supreme Court in 1993, he was retained by the voters for a second 10-year term in 2003. Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, he served in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for two decades as a trial assistant, chief of the Career Criminal Unit and as deputy district attorney. He was elected to two terms as Philadelphia’s district attorney.

As district attorney, Castille emphasized juvenile justice reform both administratively and through legislation. As legislative chair of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Association, he led the efforts to enact the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1986, the Tender Years Hearsay Bill, Sentencing Guidelines legislation of 1988, Post-Conviction Hearing Act reform, Mental Health Procedure reforms and other important legislation affecting the criminal justice system. Castille also served as legislative chair of the National District Attorneys’ Association.

While district attorney of Philadelphia, Castille believed in early and effective intervention in cases where juveniles were charged criminally. He created the Juvenile Division in the District Attorney’s Office and began Philadelphia’s Youth Aid Panels to treat first-time minor offenders outside the normal offender track. He began the Juvenile Habitual Offenders’ Unit to deal with serious, repeat juvenile offenders and assumed the charging function in juvenile crimes to assure accurate charging decisions and to divert less serious charges. Only experienced prosecutors were assigned to the Juvenile Division.

Castille was born in Miami, Florida and was raised in a career military family (U.S. Air Force). After graduation from high school in Japan, he graduated from Auburn University (Bachelor of Science) in 1966 and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in combat as a Rifle Platoon Commander in Vietnam. After severe wounds in service to his country, Castille was medically retired from the Marine Corps and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V,” two Purple Heart Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential and Naval Unit Citations and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. To this day, Castille continues to advance the cause of military veterans. He is a 1971 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.

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Last Updated July 22, 2015