Introducing the Fair Punishment Project
The Fair Punishment Project uses legal research and educational initiatives to ensure that the U.S. justice system is fair and accountable. As a joint initiative of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and its Criminal Justice Institute, we work to highlight the gross injustices resulting from prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective defense lawyering, and racial bias, and to highlight the unconstitutional use of excessive punishment. The Project also closely partners with The Bronx Defenders, which provides invaluable strategic, research, and writing assistance.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute was launched in 2005 by Harvard Law School professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. The Institute serves as a critical bridge between scholarship, law, policy and practice to solve the challenges of a multi-racial society.
The Criminal Justice Institute trains Harvard Law School students who will be the next generation of ethical, effective and passionate defense lawyers. Led by Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., the Institute leads research of the criminal and juvenile justice systems in order to affect local and national reform.
The Bronx Defenders provides innovative, holistic, and client-centered criminal defense, family defense, civil legal services, social work support, and advocacy to indigent people of the Bronx. It represents 32,000 people each year and reaches thousands more through outreach programs and community legal education.
THE LEGAL ADVISORY COUNCIL FOR AMICUS AND ISSUE BRIEFS
Our Legal Advisory Council is comprised of nearly two dozen law professors, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and experienced Supreme Court litigators. By providing guidance to the Fair Punishment Project on amicus and issue briefs, the advisory council allows us to consistently provide the highest caliber legal analysis on emerging issues in criminal law and procedure. Individual members of the council hold a diverse array of views, and no advisory council member or their employer endorses the positions that the Fair Punishment Project puts forward in any particular report, brief, or other written product. Members include:
- Amir Ali is an Associate at Jenner & Block in the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group. Ali has litigated numerous cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and most recently argued successfully in Welch v. United States. Previously, he clerked for Judge Raymond C. Fisher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2011.
- Russell Anello is an attorney at Davis Polk in Washington, DC, where his practice focuses on government enforcement actions and investigations. Before joining Davis Polk, Russell served in the White House Counsel’s Office, at the US Department of Health and Human Services, and on the staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Russell graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007, where he was an editor on the Harvard Law Review.
- Rachel Barkow is the Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy and the Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at NYU. In June of 2013, the Senate confirmed her as a Member of the United States Sentencing Commission. Since 2010, she has also been a member of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Policy Advisory Panel. Barkow served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and Judge Laurence H. Silberman on the United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia. She graduated from Harvard Law School, where she won the Sears Prize, which is awarded annually to two students with the top overall grade averages in the first-year class, and Northwestern University.
- Douglas A. Berman is the Robert J. Watkins / Procter & Gamble Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He is the sole creator and author of the widely-read and widely-cited blog, Sentencing Law and Policy, which receives nearly 100,000 page views per month. Berman is the co-author of a casebook, Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes and Guidelines, which is published by Aspen Publishers and is now in its second edition. He also has served as an editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter for more than a decade, and is a co-managing editor of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. Berman served as a law clerk for Judge Jon O. Newman and Judge Guido Calabresi, both on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He graduated from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review, and received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University.
- Tamar Birckhead is a professor of law and Director of Clinical Programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches the Youth Justice Clinic, the criminal lawyering process, and juvenile courts and delinquency. During the 2016-17 academic year, she is teaching at Yale Law School as the Martin R. Flug Visiting Clinical Professor of Law. Prior to joining the UNC faculty, Birckhead worked for ten years as a public defender, and previously clerked for the late Edith Fine on the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992.
- Joseph Blocher is a Professor of Law at Duke University. He clerked for Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also practiced in the appellate group of O’Melveny & Myers, where he assisted the merits briefing for the District of Columbia in District of Columbia v. Heller. He graduated from Yale Law School in 2006.
- Jessica Brand is a staff attorney at the Texas Defender Service, and formerly a staff attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007.
- Ben Cohen is Of Counsel at The Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans, Louisiana. He clerked for then Judge now Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court. He helped create the Capital Appeals Project, Louisiana’s capital appellate office, in 2001 and the Promise of Justice Initiative in 2010. Cohen served as co-counsel in three merits cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the landmark decision in Kennedy v. Louisiana, foreclosing the expansion of the death penalty to non-homicide offenses. He graduated magna cum laude from University of Michigan Law School in 1996.
- Daniel Epps is an Associate Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. He clerked for Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He then spent several years practicing at King & Spalding LLP in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in appellate litigation. He was a Harvard Law School Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law from 2013-2016. Recently, he acted as co-counsel for petitioner in Ocasio v. United States,136 S. Ct. 1423 (2016). He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2008.
- Jeffrey Fisher is co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic and a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He has argued 29 cases in the Court, including Crawford v. Washington, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, Riley v. California, Blakely v. Washington, and Kennedy v. Louisiana. He was also co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges. He clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Fisher graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and Duke University.
- Jaclyn Frankfurt is a Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining PDS, Ms. Frankfurt was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center and a law clerk for Walter Jay Skinner of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Ms. Frankfurt argued Robertson v. United States ex rel. Watson in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 (560 U.S. 272 (2010)). She graduated from Yale Law School in 1986 and received an LL.M. in advocacy from the Georgetown University Law Center.
- Brandon Garrett is the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. He clerked for Pierre N. Leval on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Garrett’s recent book examining corporate prosecutions, titled “Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations,” was published by Harvard University Press in Fall 2014. In 2011, Harvard University Press published Garrett’s book, “Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong,” examining the cases of the first 250 people to be exonerated by DNA testing. In Fall 2017, Harvard University Press will publish Garrett’s forthcoming book, “The Triumph of Mercy.” He graduated from Columbia Law School in 2001.
- Brianne Gorod is Chief Counsel at the Constitutional Accountability Center. She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer, Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to joining CAC, she worked at O’Melveny & Myers, where she was Counsel in the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice. From 2009-11, she was an Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2005.
- Carissa Hessick is a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She clerked for Judge A. Raymond Randolph on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Before joining the faculty at UNC, she taught at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. She was a Harvard Law School Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law from 2005-2007. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2002.
- Emily Hughes is the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. She clerked for Michael J. Melloy, then the Chief Judge for the Northern District of Iowa, now on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She was a Sacks Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute from 1998-1999. She graduated from the University of Michigan with order of the coif honors in 1997.
- Latonia Haney Keith is the Director of Clinical Education and Assistant Professor of Law at Concordia University School of Law. She previously served as the Firm-Wide Pro Bono Counsel in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. She is the immediate past president of the board of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo), a membership organization of over 155 attorneys and practice group managers from 95 of the largest private law firms, who manage some of the most successful law firm pro bono practices. She clerked for Judge Judith Ann Wilson Rogers on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2003.
- Lee Kovarsky is a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland. He clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is an active habeas and capital litigator, regularly representing capital prisoners at all levels of state and federal judiciary. He has published extensively on the death penalty and the habeas privilege. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.
- Miriam Krinsky served as the Executive Director of Los Angeles County’s Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence. She worked as a federal prosecutor for 15 years, wherein she served as Chief of the General Crimes Sections, Chief of the Criminal Appellate Section, chaired the Solicitor General’s Advisory Group on Appellate Issues, and served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Sentencing. She received the Attorney General’s highest national award for appellate work. Ms. Krinsky obtained her B.A. in economics from UCLA, as well as her law degree from UCLA School of Law.
- Leah Litman is an Assistant Professor of Law at University of California, Irvine. She clerked for Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. She then worked at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she specialized in appellate litigation. Professor Litman earned her B.A. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Harvard College, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan School of Law. Recently, she was a Climenko Fellow & Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School.
- Daniel Medwed is a Professor of Law at Northeastern University, where he teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, and Advanced Criminal Procedure: Wrongful Convictions and Post-Conviction Remedies. His book, Prosecution Complex: America’s Race to Convict and Its Impact on the Innocent (New York University Press, 2012), explores how even well-meaning prosecutors may contribute to wrongful convictions because of cognitive biases and an overly-deferential regime of legal and ethical rules. Professor Medwed is an official Legal Analyst for WGBH News, Boston’s local NPR and PBS affiliate. Professor Medwed earned his B.A. from Yale College, and his law degree from Harvard Law School.
- Jonathan Schneller is a public defender in Los Angeles, specializing in federal criminal appeals. Before becoming a public defender, he worked as an associate in the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice at O’Melveny & Myers. He clerked for Justice Elena Kagan of the United States Supreme Court, as well Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010.
- Carol Steiker is the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the faculty co-director of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Program of Study, Research, and Advocacy. She specializes in the broad field of criminal justice, where her work ranges from substantive criminal law to criminal procedure to institutional design, with a special focus on issues related to capital punishment. Professor Steiker served on the Board of Editors of the Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (2nd ed. Macmillan 2002), she is the editor of Criminal Procedure Stories (Foundation 2006), she is a co-editor with Michael Klarman and David Skeel of The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz (Cambridge University Press 2012), and she is a co-author of the Kadish, Schulhofer, Steiker & Barkow casebook, Criminal Law and Its Processes (9th ed. Aspen 2012). Her most recent book, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, co-authored with her brother Jordan Steiker of the University of Texas School of Law, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2016. Professor Steiker is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as president of the Harvard Law Review, the second woman to hold that position in its then 99-year history. After clerking for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, she worked as a staff attorney for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. In addition to her scholarly work, Professor Steiker has worked on pro bono litigation projects on behalf of indigent criminal defendants, including death penalty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Jordan Steiker is a Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches constitutional law, criminal law, and death penalty law, and is Director of the law school’s Capital Punishment Center. He has written extensively on constitutional law, federal habeas corpus, and the death penalty, and was recently a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. Before beginning his career as a law professor, he clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the United States Supreme Court. Professor Steiker earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
- Carter Stewart is the Managing Director of the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. Prior to joining DRK, Carter served as the presidentially-appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. In this role, he was responsible for prosecuting federal crime in a district which included Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton. Stewart also served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and chaired the Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Working Group. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Jose, CA, and he was a litigator at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Columbus, OH, and Bingham McCutchen LLP in San Francisco, CA. He clerked for Judge Robert L. Carter on the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, and Judge Raymond L. Finch on the United States District Court Judge for the District of the Virgin Islands. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1997, and holds an MA in Education Policy from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Stanford University.