University of Pittsburgh
March 17, 2008

Pitt School of Law Lecture to Feature Advocate Against the Death Penalty, Racism in the Criminal Justice System March 27

Bryan Stevenson, New York University law school professor, is Pitt School of Law's annual Lawyering for Social Change Lecture speaker
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Bryan Stevenson, New York University School of Law professor and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, will deliver the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Lawyering for Social Change Lecture, at noon March 27 in the Barco Law Building's Teplitz Moot Court Room, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Stevenson, known as one of the nation's most powerful speakers against the death penalty, will give a talk titled "Race, Death, and Psychic Harm: The Continuing History of No Truth and No Reconciliation."

After graduating from Harvard University in 1985 with a master's degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. degree from the School of Law, Stevenson became a staff attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta where he represented capital defendants and death row prisoners. In 1989, he began his work with the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that defends the rights of the poor and people of color.

Stevenson and his colleagues have successfully reduced or overturned death sentences in more than 65 cases in Alabama. His work on behalf of condemned prisoners has won him national acclaim. In 1995, he received the McArthur Foundation "Genius" Award and was named the Public Interest Lawyer of the Year in 1996 by the National Association of Public Interest Lawyers. Among Stevenson's other honors are a 1989 Reebok Human Rights Award and the 1991 ACLU National Medal of Liberty. He also received the Olaf Palme Prize in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2000 for international human rights, and the Award for Courageous Advocacy from the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004.