Centre College’s annual Constitution Day convocation will bring the topics of race, poverty and the death penalty into the sphere of modern legal and social justice with a keynote presentation by 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. The convocation, “The Influence of Race and Poverty on Imposition of the Death Penalty and other Criminal Cases,” will take place Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Newlin Hall at the College’s Norton Center for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public.
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 SCHR, has involved trying cases, including capital cases, before juries and arguing cases before state and federal appellate courts.
Bright has also argued and won cases before the United States Supreme Court, including Foster v. Humphrey in 2015, in which he successfully challenged racial bias in jury selection in a capital case in Georgia. Additionally, he has testified on many occasions before committees of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Beyond Bright’s instruction at Yale Law School, where he has taught since 1993, he has led courses on criminal law and capital punishment at such institutions as Harvard, Emory and Georgetown universities, among others.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he earned his B.A. and J.D., Bright’s legal career has been highlighted with a number of honorary degrees and recognitions. Among his many achievements, Bright is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award (1998), the American Civil Liberties Union’s Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty (1991), the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s Kutak-Dodds Prize (1992) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Lifetime Achievement Award (2008).
by Amy Clark Wise
September 20, 2016
IF YOU GO
Constitution Day Convocation
“The Influence of Race and Poverty on Imposition of the Death Penalty and other Criminal Cases”
featuring Stephen B. Bright
Newlin Hall, Norton Center for the Arts
Sept. 21 • 7:30 p.m.
Free, open to public