MacArthur Fellows Program

Bryan Stevenson

Human Rights Lawyer | Class of 1995

Title
Human Rights Lawyer
Location
Montgomery, Alabama
Age
36 at time of award

Bryan Stevenson, an attorney and a human rights activist, has devoted his career to fighting the death penalty.

In Stevenson’s drive to expose biases under which capital punishment is imposed, he has articulated how its use is linked to race and class discrimination and to systemic defects in criminal procedures.  His efforts have succeeded in reversing a number of death penalties, sparing the lives of several people proven innocent.  Under his guidance, the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama has become one of the most active death-penalty-defense operations in the country.  Stevenson is the author of the Alabama Capital Postconviction Manual (1991) and the Alabama Capital Defense Trial Manual (1992).

Stevenson is a professor of clinical law at New York University’s School of Law and the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, a nonprofit organization in Montgomery, Alabama, committed to pursuing reforms and providing legal assistance to the imprisoned and condemned.  He served previously as a staff attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights (1985-1989) and as executive director of the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center (1989-1995).

Stevenson received a B.A. (1981) from Eastern College, an M.P.P. (1985) from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. (1985) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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