Skip to content

2024 Summer Forum Preview: Criminal Law & Death Penalty Panel

The criminal legal system remains at the forefront of national discourse, especially concerning the pervasive issues of abusive policing, mass incarceration, and the death penalty. These systemic problems not only undermine individual liberties but also perpetuate cycles of injustice and inequality within our communities. Addressing these challenges requires a deep examination of current practices and the implementation of transformative reforms to protect fundamental human rights and ensure equitable justice for all.  Learn more about these important topics at our 2024 Summer Forum Panel on Criminal Law & Death Penalty Panel on Wednesday, June 26 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm ET.

Stephanie Johnson will moderate the Criminal Law & Death Penalty panel. Stephanie is the Associate Director of the Trial Advocacy Program at American University Washington College of Law. 

Our panelists will be:

Lucius T. Outlaw III, Howard University School of Law

Lucius T. Outlaw III is an associate professor of law at Howard University School of Law. He teaches criminal law and justice courses and supervises students in the law school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, where students represent indigent clients charged with misdemeanor offenses in D.C. Superior Court. Previously, Professor Outlaw was an Assistant Federal Public Defender with the Federal Public Defender’s Office of Maryland. As an AFPD, Professor Outlaw represented indigent clients charged with a variety of federal criminal offenses, especially fraud, political corruption, violent, firearm, and drug offenses. In 2013, Professor Outlaw was detailed to the United States Senate for one year to serve as counsel in the Judiciary Committee office of Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois). For the last two years of his tenure at the federal defender’s office, Professor Outlaw served as Senior Litigation Counsel. In that role, Professor Outlaw assisted with the management of the office’s staff, caseload, recruitment and hiring, attorney training, and policy setting and implementation. Professor Outlaw started his legal career as an associate with Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C. and then with Mayer Brown LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. At Mayer Brown, Professor Outlaw was promoted to partner in 2009. Professor Outlaw is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A.), the George Washington School of Political Management (M.A.), and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.).

Emily Olson-Gault, ABA Death Penalty Representation Project 

Emily is Director & Chief Counsel for the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project. Emily works with civil lawyers and law firms that are interested in pro bono death penalty representation to identify cases in need of assistance that match the needs and interests of the firm. She also oversees the Project’s systemic reform efforts and serves as a national expert on the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment & Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases. She routinely provides training and technical assistance to capital defenders and pro bono counsel and also assists state agencies and lawmakers with implementing qualification and performance standards for capital defenders. Emily co-teaches a habeas practicum at Georgetown University Law Center.

Ngozi Ndulue, Innocence Project

Ngozi is the Innocence Project’s Special Advisor on Race and Wrongful Conviction. In this role, Ngozi provides leadership and expertise on racial justice, equity, bias and discrimination and their impact on the functioning of the criminal legal system and, particularly, wrongful conviction. Prior to joining the Innocence Project, Ngozi was the deputy director of the Death Penalty Information Center where she conducted original research, supervised data collection and analysis, and led organizational development initiatives. Throughout her legal career, Ngozi has focused on the intersection of racial justice and the criminal legal system, engaging in litigation, policy research, coalition building, and advocacy. From 2016 to 2018, Ngozi served as senior director of criminal justice programs at the national NAACP. She also worked at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center (OJPC) in Cincinnati and as an assistant federal public defender in the Arizona Capital Habeas Unit. Ngozi has a law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Thomas Bednar, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Tom is Counsel for Cleary Gottlieb. He joined Cleary in 2022, after spending 13 years in the federal government, first as a federal prosecutor and then as an enforcement trial lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Tom has extensive experience leading investigations and litigation involving alleged violations of the federal securities laws. Tom also represents multinational public companies and financial institutions in investigations by the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and has advised on practices related to the handling of material non-public information, insider trading policies, and the use of off-channel communications. Previously, Tom served as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel and Supervisory Trial Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Trial Unit. Prior to joining the SEC, Tom was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, trying over 40 cases to verdict and investigating numerous offenses, including complex white collar and national security cases. Before his time in government, Tom clerked for a federal judge and worked as a litigation associate at another prominent firm in Washington, D.C. Tom serves on the firm’s pro bono committee, maintains an active pro bono practice.

Back To Top