American University Washington College of Law Welcomes Death Penalty Expert Stephen Bright as Fellow in Law and Government
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, DC, August 25, 2010 – American University Washington College of Law welcomes death penalty expert Stephen Bright to campus for a three-week fellowship that includes a special death penalty seminar course, and a series of events around capital punishment. His fellowship is sponsored by the Program on Law and Government.
Bright is president and senior counsel of the Southern Center for Human Rights, an organization that provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty and advocates for reform in the criminal justice system. He is a widely-sought expert on the topic, and has testified on many occasions before committees of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
"We are extremely excitedto have Steve join us. Steve Bright isthe United States' leading anti-death penalty advocate -- a luminary in his field. We couldn't be more pleased to have him in residence as a Fellow in Law and Government," says Mary Clark, Acting Director of the Program on Law & Government.
Bright will be an active participant in campus life during his fellowship. On September 1st from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. the Program on Law and Government will host ‘Bright Night’ – a free reception honoring Bright for his extraordinary commitment to death penalty and the right to counsel for poor people accused of crimes.
On September 8th, the Law School will host “Paths to Indigent Defense Reform,” featuring Professor Bright and other panelists as they discuss ways to reform the broken system for providing legal representation for poor people accused of crimes in the United States. CLE credit will be offered for this event.
Stephen B. Bright is president and senior counsel of the Center and teaches at Yale Law School. He served as director of the Center from 1982 through 2005, and has been in his present position since the start of 2006. He has taught at Yale since 1993.
Subjects of his litigation, teaching and writing include capital punishment, legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, conditions and practices in prisons and jails, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, judicial independence, and sentencing. He has tried cases, including capital cases, before juries and argued cases before state and federal appellate courts. He has twice argued and won cases before the United States Supreme Court, Snyder v. Louisiana, 552 U.S. 472 (2008), and Amadeo v. Zant, 486 U.S. 214 (1988). Both cases involved racial discrimination in the composition of the juries.
He has also taught at the law schools at Harvard, Georgetown, Emory and Northeastern. His and the Center's work has been the subject of a documentary film, Finding for Life in the Death Belt, (EM Productions 2005), and two books, Proximity to Death by William McFeely (Norton 1999) and Finding Life on Death Row by Kayta Lezin (Northeastern University Press 1999).
He received the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 1998, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty in 1991, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s Kutak-Dodds Prize in 1992, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, several honarary degrees and other recognition. The Fulton Daily Law Report, Georgia's legal newspaper, named Bright “Newsmaker (and Agitator) of the Year” in 2003 for his contribution to bringing about creation of a public defender system in Georgia.
American University Washington College of Law
In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school’s nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit wcl.american.edu.
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