Skip to main content

Morris Dees Justice Award

The award was presented to Larry Hammond in New York on November 18, 2010.

Death Penalty Fairness Advocate Wins 2010 Award

The international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP and The University of Alabama School of Law announced today that Larry Hammond, founder and chair of the Arizona Justice Project and the creator of the Center for Forensic Science and Public Policy at The American Judicature Society, has been awarded the 2010 Morris Dees Justice Award.

Hammond, the 2010 award recipient, has spent much of his career in public service, including stints clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Hugo L. Black and Lewis F. Powell, Jr.; as an Assistant Special Prosecutor during Watergate; and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

Hammond is the founder and chair of the Arizona Justice Project, and a member of the Board of the Arizona Capital Representation Project. He also serves as chair of the Criminal Justice Reform Committee of The American Judicature Society (AJS), an organization he served as president from 2003 to 2005.

Hammond is honored for his tireless work to correct systemic injustice in death penalty litigation in the United States, for his representation of defendants in capital cases and for leading efforts to create the AJS Institute for Forensic Science and Public Policy during his presidency of AJS.

A recipient of many local and national awards, Hammond was nominated by a distinguished group that included former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and former Dean of Yale Law School Harold Hongju Koh.

Full 2010 Morris Dees Justice Award Press Release

The award was given annually for five years to a lawyer who has devoted his or her career to serving the public interest and pursuing justice, and whose work has brought about positive change in the community, state, or nation.

About the Award
The University of Alabama School of Law  and Skadden, Arps established the Morris Dees Justice Award in honor of University of Alabama alumnus and civil rights attorney Morris Dees. With this award, we honor his life-long career dedicated to public service, including his fight for civil rights, equality, and freedom, and against poverty, discrimination, and racism.

About Morris Dees
Dees, a 1960 graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law, is the Co-Founder and Chief Trial Counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. The Center is internationally known for tracking hate groups and extremist activity, conducting tolerance training education, and winning cases against white supremacists.
In this 5th and final year of the Morris Dees Justice Award, we honor our previous winners:
2009 Winner Gordon Bonnyman, Jr.
2008 Winner Cheryl Little
2007 Winner Arthur N. Read
2006 Winner Judge William Wayne Justice

2010 Selection Committee

Honorary Chair:
Morris Dees

Robert C. Sheehan
Partner, Skadden, Arps

Kenneth Randall
Dean and Thomas E. McMillan Professor, The University of Alabama School of Law

Helaine M. Barnett
Past President, Legal Services Corp

Judge Bernice B. Donald
Western District, Tennessee
Secretary, American Bar Association

Bryan Fair
Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law

Cheryl I. Harris
Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

Bradley S. Phillips
Co-Chair, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Susan Butler Plum
Director, Skadden, Arps Public Interest Fellowship

Steven R. Shapiro
Legal Director, ACLU

Jeffrey Toobin
Senior Analyst, CNN

Vaughn C. Williams
Partner, Skadden, Arps

Judith A. Winston
Former General Counsel & Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education