Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Future Hall-of-Famers (of Law)

During last Sunday's game between Minnesota and Pittsburgh, I was struck by the fact that I was watching at least two sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterbacks: Brett Favre and Ben Roethlisberger -- not to mention Adrian Peterson. What a fantastic time to be following the NFL -- like watching Bart Starr or Jim Brown in their prime.

On Thursday evening, November 5, Mississippians Educating for Smart Justice will be celebrating their first annual dinner. Andre' deGruy, director of the Mississippi Office of Capital Defense Counsel, will be honored with the first-ever Kenneth J. Rose Award for Compassionate Advocacy. And Ken Rose himself will be on hand to present the award.

Both Andre' and Ken are sure-fire Hall of Famers. Andre' has set the standard for meticulous preparation and passionate trial advocacy in death penalty cases. The term "compassionate" also applies to his constant focus on his clients, their families, and the victims of crime as individuals who need to be treated with dignity and respect.

Ken Rose, a native of New Orleans, moved to Jackson in the 1980s, where he began representing death sentenced prisoners and teaching others to do so. His concept of "Team Defense" and his insistence that each of his clients were not "killers" but rather individuals -- whose life could not be reduced to their worst act -- inspired and taught those of us who represent death sentenced prisoners today.

Andre' deGruy's style of "compassionate advocacy" mirrors perfectly the early work of Ken Rose -- so the MESJ Board thought this award was a no-brainer.

The invitation for this event is below. Please attend if you can (but RSVP first!) The Knights of Columbus will be catering the event and they are "Hall of Famers" in their own right.

Please join us!

MESJ Dinner Invite

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