Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, is the 2019 Day Pitney Visiting Scholar at UConn School of Law.
He will visit the law school on November 7, 2019 to give a public speech.
Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. Under his leadership, the Equal Justice Initiative has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief or release from prison for more than 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced.
Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger.
Stevenson’s work has won numerous awards, including 40 honorary doctorates, the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Prize and the ABA Medal, the American Bar Association’s highest honor. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government and the author of the award-winning New York Times bestseller, "Just Mercy."
The Day Pitney Visiting Scholar program is presented by the Connecticut Law Review and underwritten by the Day Pitney Foundation, which promotes positive developments in law, legal scholarship, and legal and community education through contributions and volunteer efforts of the personnel of Day Pitney LLP. Other Day Pitney Visiting Scholars have included: Lawrence Lessig, Judge Michael Mukasey, Bob Woodward, and U.S. Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
For more information about Stevenson's visit to UConn School of Law, see law.uconn.edu/dp19
After Stevenson speaks at the law school, he will travel to the UConn Storrs campus, where President Thomas C. Katsouleas and former U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd will award him and the Equal Justice Initiative the 2019 Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice.