The Fair Punishment Project is helping to create a fair and accountable justice system through legal action, public discourse, and educational initiatives. A project of Tides Advocacy, The Fair Punishment Projects works with Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute. A number of individual and institutional donors support our work, including Open Philanthropy Project and Vital Projects Fund.

THE LEGAL ADVISORY COUNCIL 

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:

  • Alex Spiro (Chair) is a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in New York where he primarily practices “white collar” criminal defense, but has a broad portfolio encompassing nearly every area of litigation. He has defended an array of high-profile and complex cases in state and federal court, including cases involving professional athletes, entertainers, politicians, and corporate executives. Previously, Mr. Spiro worked as a Manhattan prosecutor and served the federal government in Washington DC. Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Spiro directed a program for children with Autism spectrum disorders at McLean Hospital, which is Harvard’s Psychiatric Hospital. Mr. Spiro is a graduate of Harvard Law School where he continues to serve on the adjunct faculty. He also is the chair of the Fair Punishment Project’s advisory council.
  • Amir Ali is an appellate and Supreme Court litigator at the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center, and opened the organization’s D.C. Office.   Ali has litigated many cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and most recently argued successfully in Welch v. United States.  Previously, he was an attorney at Jenner & Block LLP.  Following law school, Ali 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 Wainer Apter is an attorney in the Supreme Court and Appellate practice group at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. She has litigated dozens of cases in federal and state appellate tribunals and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to joining Orrick, Rachel clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She also worked at a legal aid office in Israel and for the New York City Department of Education. Rachel graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • James Sigel is an Associate at Morrison & Foerster in the Appellate and Supreme Court practice. Mr. Sigel clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor on the United States Supreme Court, Judge David Tatel on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Justice Goodwin Liu on the California Supreme Court, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He graduated from Harvard Law School.
  • 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.

STAFF

  • Mehak Anwar, Communications Associate, has written about racial justice, criminal justice reform, gender equality, and politics for publications like The Daily Dot, Huffington Post, Bustle, and Alternet. She recently spent time working on documentary films covering the private prison industry, immigrant detention centers, and bail reform. Mehak is a graduate of Emerson College.
  • Kyle C. Barry, Senior Legal Counsel, previously served as Senior Policy Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where his advocacy focused on judicial nominations, voting rights, and economic equality. Formerly, Kyle served as the Director of Justice Programs at Alliance for Justice in Washington, D.C. A nationally-recognized expert on civil rights issues, Kyle’s writing has appeared in The Nation, Politico, The Hill, and the Huffington Post among other outlets, and he has provided commentary on Democracy Now! and The Roland Martin Show. Kyle also has experience litigating both civil and criminal cases, and has authored or co-authored briefs filed in federal courts around the country, including the United States Supreme Court. Kyle clerked for United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy and United States District Judge Christina Reiss in the District of Vermont. Kyle is a graduate of the University of Vermont and Yale Law School.
  • Alex Bassos, Director of Advocacy, was in public defense for 23 years before joining the Fair Punishment Project. For the last 20 years he was at Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland, Oregon where, among other things, he was the Training Director, the Chief of Specialty Courts, the Interim Director of the office and a line attorney. Most recently he ran Community Law, a model he founded to make the community healthier and safer through outcomes-focused representation across the social service, community health and justice systems. He graduated from Indiana University Law School in 1995.
  • Jessica Brand, Legal Director, previously worked at the Texas Defender Service in the capital trial project, where she consulted with trial teams in death penalty cases across the state of Texas and conducted state-wide trainings on understanding mental health, performing capital defense investigation, and preparing a case for life. Formerly, Jessica was a staff attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also served as a member of the forensic practice group, and she continues to train lawyers across the country on litigating the admissibility of forensic evidence. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007, and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004.
  • Ethan Brown, Lead Editor, previously worked as a mitigation specialist and fact investigator on capital cases in Louisiana, in both private practice and with the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center (LCAC), where he served as a staff investigator. Ethan is also a longtime investigative reporter and editor focusing on criminal justice policy who has written for publications ranging from New York Magazine to GQ and is the author of four narrative non-fiction books, Murder in the Bayou (Scribner, 2016), Shake the Devil Off (Henry Holt, 2009), Snitch (Public Affairs, 2007), and Queens Reigns Supreme (Random House, 2005).
  • Burke Butler, Senior Legal Counsel, graduated from Yale Law School in 2011 and clerked for the Honorable Harris Hartz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Honorable Keith P. Ellison of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. As a Liman Fellow at the Texas Civil Rights Project, Burke spearheaded a state-wide report about solitary confinement in Texas’s prisons and represented prisoners in their civil-rights litigation. Burke has also worked as a Staff Attorney at Texas Defender Service, where she represented capitally sentenced inmates in their state and federal post-conviction proceedings.
  • Cassi Feldman, Senior Editor, is an award-winning reporter and editor. Prior to joining the Fair Punishment Project, she was bureau chief of Chalkbeat New York, an associate producer at CBS News’s 60 Minutes, senior editor at City Limits magazine, and a reporter for the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, and other publications.
  • Melissa Gira Grant, Senior Reporter, is a journalist and author, covering sexual politics, criminal justice, and human rights. Her reporting on sex work and human trafficking has been published in the Guardian, BuzzFeed, VICE, and The Nation, among other publications. She has been a contributing writer for Pacific Standard, the Village Voice, and Gawker Media’s Valleywag. Her latest book is Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso, 2014), which has been also been translated in Spanish, Korean, and several other languages.
  • Vaidya Gullapalli, Newsletter Curator, joined FPP in 2018 after several years as a human rights advocate, public defender, and journalist in the US and India. Vaidya worked at the Bronx Defenders and Officer of the Appellate Defender in New York and has been a contributing writer for Solitary Watch. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2008.
  • Matt Henry, Lead Technologist & Staff Attorney, joined FPP after working as a public defender in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2015. Before attending law school, Matt worked for several years as a web developer for startups, agencies, and large internet companies in Silicon Valley, New York, and North Carolina.
  • George Joseph, is a criminal justice reporter. His work, focusing on law enforcement surveillance systems, has appeared in outlets such as ProPublica, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Intercept, and The Verge. His investigations have broken national news on federal surveillance of Black Lives Matter activists, DHS draft plans for the long term monitoring of Sunni Muslim residents, and the proliferation of police spy tools across the country.
  • Sarah Leonard, Executive Editor, In Justice Today. Sarah is also editor-at-large at Dissent and former features editor at The Nation.
  • Sarah Lustbader, Senior Legal Counsel, Sarah joined FPP after working as a Senior Program Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice and as a criminal defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders. During her time as a public defender, Sarah conducted trainings on the intersection of neuroscience and criminal law, and wrote a white paper proposing a novel police body-camera policy regime. Sarah previously worked as an Antitrust Associate for the law firm Shearman & Sterling, LLP. She has testified before the New York State Assembly and has published op-ed pieces for the New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Week. Her academic work has been published in Washington University Law Review (as co-author) and Fordham Urban Law Journal. She received a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and a JD from NYU School of Law, where she served on the NYU Law Review as Notes Editor.
  • Crystal Maloney, Social Media Editor, previously worked as a criminal defense attorney in Oregon. Crystal is member of the Oregon Justice Resource Center Amicus Committee and volunteers with the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild’s Protester Support Project. Crystal graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2015.
  • John Mathews II, Senior Legal Counsel, joined Fair Punishment Project in 2018 after working as an Assistant United States Attorney in Puerto Rico for five years. Formerly, John was a Litigation Associate at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington D.C. and served as a Voter Protection Outreach Coordinator for Obama For America and Regional Lead for the Generation 44 Mid-Atlantic Finance Committee during the 2012 Presidential Campaign. He was also an inaugural member of the Young Lawyers Network for the D.C. Bar Foundation, the leading private funder of civil legal services for the District’s underserved. Following law school, John clerked for Judge Raymond Jackson in the Eastern District of Virginia. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 2007, and from UCLA in 2003.
  • Jordan McEntyre, Senior Legal Counsel, previously worked as a Public Defender in New Orleans for ten years. Jordan started as a staff attorney at Orleans Public Defenders, where he practiced client-directed advocacy and team-based defense, representing indigent clients on charges ranging from misdemeanors to homicide. He then worked at Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights as a staff attorney, supervising attorney, and special projects attorney, defending juveniles who were being prosecuted in juvenile and adult court. Jordan is a graduate of Carleton College and Stanford Law School.
  • Dawn Milam, Staff Attorney, joined the Fair Punishment Project in 2016. She graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she was an editor for the North Carolina Law Review and an Honors Writing Scholar. Before her law career, Dawn was an educator in the South Carolina public schools.
  • Dana Rasso, Communications Manager, joined Fair Punishment Project in 2017. Prior to that, Dana worked as the Digital Engagement Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights and as Communications and Digital Strategy Manager at Physicians for Reproductive Health. She has a degree in Art History from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MA in Graphic Communications Management and Technology from New York University.
  • Josie Duffy Rice, Research Director, received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and her JD from Harvard Law School.
  • Jevhon Rivers, Staff Attorney, previously worked at People’s Action where she helped craft criminal justice policy for community organizations across the county. While in law school, Jevhon focused on criminal justice policy at the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice, the Opportunity Agenda, and the Harvard Criminal Justice Policy Program. Before law school, she was a teacher. Jevhon graduated from Harvard Law School in 2017 and Amherst College in 2011.
  • Max Rivlin-Nadler, Journalist, has reported on criminal justice, immigration, and politics for the Village Voice, Vice, Gothamist, The New York Times, and The Nation. His series for Gothamist exposing the NYPD’s arcane civil forfeiture policies led to several lawsuits against the city, as well as a new transparency bill that was passed in 2017.
  • Rob Smith, Executive Director, was previously an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he taught criminal law and evidence. Smith earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Smith’s scholarship has appeared in the New York University Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Boston University Law Review, Washington Law Review, Alabama Law Review, Hastings Law Journal and Cardozo Law Review, among other journals, and in the online editions of the Yale Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, and Harvard Law and Policy Review. He also has published shorter works in The Guardian, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Salon and Slate. His work has been cited by courts including the United States Supreme Court, as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, New Yorker, Atlantic, Harper’s, Mother Jones, USA Today and the ABA Journal, among other outlets.
  • Jennifer Soble, Senior Legal Counsel, previously worked as a federal defender in Hammond, Indiana, where she represented indigent clients charged with serious federal crimes and specialized in forensic issues, juveniles charged as adults, and sentencing law. Prior to becoming a federal defender, Jennifer was a visiting clinical professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, focusing on juvenile and criminal justice. Formerly, Jennifer was a staff attorney in the trial division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she represented indigent clients charged with serious felonies, and served as a member of the forensic practice group. Jennifer also served as litigation fellow with Public Citizen’s Litigation Group. Following law school, she clerked for Judge R. Guy Cole on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2005, and from the University of MIchigan in 2002.
  • Daniel Spiegel, Senior Legal Counsel, previously served as a public defender in North Carolina in urban and rural areas and at the trial and appellate level. He spearheaded special litigation to address issues such as improved representation at first appearance, unfair extensions of post-release supervision for people convicted of sex-related crimes, discrimination against the poor through pay-to-play diversion, and abuse of the civil contempt power in child support court. Daniel graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010. Before that, he freelanced as a classical pianist, receiving his M.M. from The Juilliard School.
  • Trudy Strassburger, Senior Legal Counsel, spent over a decade as a public defender. She started her career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and transitioned to The Bronx Defenders where she was both a staff attorney and later a Team Leader. Trudy later spent three and a half years as deputy director for a managed assigned counsel program in Travis County, Texas where she instituted policies and training programs to improve the quality of indigent defense. She also started The Forensic Project after the closure of Austin’s DNA Lab. Trudy obtained her B.A. from Colorado College and a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law.
  • Jake Sussman, Managing Director, graduated from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar. He then clerked for the Honorable Ellen B. Burns of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Jake joined FPP in 2017 after practicing law in North Carolina for over 14 years, where he handled criminal and capital cases in state and federal courts. Jake also litigated scores of law enforcement misconduct and civil rights cases, including the successful challenge to North Carolina’s ban against marriage equality. Jake has been an invited speaker on issues ranging from the death penalty, working with experts, litigating civil rights actions, and First Amendment issues. Before law school, Jake worked as an investigator on capital cases in Alabama, Georgia, and California. During law school, he clerked with the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., the Bronx Defenders, and the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society.
  • Alex Thebert, Deputy Managing Director, graduated from University of Illinois – Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Administration, and has spent her career working on electoral and issue campaigns including a grassroots mining watchdog and for Physicians for a National Health Program. She lives in Oakland.
  • Carimah Townes, Journalism and Research Fellow, came to FPP from ThinkProgress, where she focused on a wide range of criminal justice topics. There, she wrote about prosecutors, police policies and misconduct, juvenile justice, and abuses within the prison system. She also wrote about criminal justice representations in pop culture. Carimah received a B.A. in political science from UCLA.
  • Malecia Walker, Senior Copy Editor, spent nearly 20 years working at newspapers around the country, including The Kansas City Star and The Dallas Morning News, with a pitstop as an editor and writer at Black Enterprise magazine. Most recently, she was a staff editor at The New York Times.
  • Amy Weber, Senior Legal Counsel, works as a liaison between the Fair Punishment Project and lawyers across the country working to end excessive sentencing practices, including the death penalty, juvenile life-without-parole, and non-violent life-without-parole. Prior to her work with the FPP, she spent nearly a decade working as a trial and appellate attorney at the Public Defender’s office in Miami, Florida, representing clients in all phases of Florida criminal proceedings. In her legal career, Amy has also served as a law clerk for Judge Janet C. Hall in the District of Connecticut and as a Staff Attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. Amy obtained a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.
  • Keli Young, Staff Attorney, graduated from New York University School of Law in 2015. While in law school, she served on the board of the Black Allied Law Students Association and as the director of the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition. As a member of the Immigrant Defense Clinic, she assisted immigration attorneys in Manhattan in defense of undocumented individuals facing removal due to criminal convictions, and as a member of the Criminal Defense and Reentry Clinic, she assisted criminal public defenders in Brooklyn. Keli clerked during law school for Legal Outreach, Inc. and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Prior to coming to FPP, Keli was a research consultant for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice in New York City, where she worked on policies to reduce the population on Rikers Island and racial disparity throughout the criminal justice system. Keli graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in Psychology.