Prior to arriving on campus in the fall, first-year students at Centre College read a common book during the summer, which they then discuss with their faculty advisors and peers during orientation.
This year, first-year students read “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson. The book is a memoir of Stevenson’s experiences working against inequalities in the justice system. In 1994, Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to “challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
As part of this year’s New Student Book & Constitution Day Convocation, students will have the opportunity to hear speaker Stephen B. Bright, president and senior counsel for the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) in Atlanta, Ga., and clinical law instructor at Yale Law School, discuss, “The Constitution and the Criminal Courts: All-white Juries, Incompetent Defense Lawyers, and Discrimination in Seeking the Death Penalty.” The convocation will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Newlin Hall in the College’s Norton Center for the Arts.
A Danville native, Bright has enjoyed a distinguished legal career focused on death penalty trials, appeals to inhumane prison conditions, and pressing concerns, such as the right to legal representation for all and the issue of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.
His national acclaim as an advocate of human rights in the criminal justice and prison systems, earned through 30-plus years directing and providing counsel to the Southern Center for Human Rights, has involved trying cases, including capital cases, before juries and arguing cases before state and federal appellate courts.
Bright also argued and won three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, a distinction few lawyers can claim. He currently teaches at Yale Law School, Georgetown and Georgia State University College of Law.
IF YOU GO
First Year Book & Constitution Day Convocation
Stephen B. Bright: “The Constitution and the Criminal Courts: All-white Juries, Incompetent Defense Lawyers, and Discrimination in Seeking the Death Penalty”
Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts
by Kerry Steinhofer
September 17, 2019