Jonathan Rapping, a nationally renowned criminal defense attorney and the founder and president of Gideon’s Promise, will deliver the 2016 Charles H. Miller Lecture in Professional Responsibility at the University of Tennessee College of Law.
The lecture, “Changing the American Criminal Justice Narrative” will be at noon on Tuesday, March 1, in Room 132 of the College of Law (1505 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville). Rapping will discuss innovative ways to address what he considers the failure of the United States criminal justice system to provide client-centered, equitable legal representation for indigent Americans accused of crime.
In 2007, Rapping was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship to develop Gideon’s Promise, devoted to training and supporting public defenders across the southeastern United States. He has won numerous awards for his work in this area. Rapping and Gideon’s Promise are featured in the award-winning HBO documentary Gideon’s Army. In 2014, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for his work.
A professor of law at the John Marshall Law School and visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, Rapping teaches in the areas of criminal law and procedure and advocates for transformation and change in the criminal justice system. He previously served as chief of training for the Orleans Public Defenders and was instrumental in the rebuilding of that office in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In the ten years prior to his work in New Orleans, he served in the public defender offices of Georgia and Washington, DC, developing and implementing public defender training programs, and handling a caseload of serious felonies.
The Charles Henderson Miller Lecture Series in Professional Responsibility was established in 1977 in honor of the late Professor Charles H. Miller, the founding director of the UT Legal Clinic, the longest-running legal clinic in the nation.