AU Professor Angela Davis Wins Thurgood Marshall Award

April 27, 2018

Angela Davis

The D.C. Bar has selected Angela J. Davis, a professor of criminal law and procedure at American University Washington College of Law, as the 2018 recipient of its Thurgood Marshall Award for having demonstrated extraordinary commitment and initiative in pursuing equal justice and opportunity for all Americans. Davis will be honored at the D.C. Bar Celebration of Leadership at The Mayflower Hotel on June 12.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award from the D.C. Bar. I never expected to receive an award for doing what I’ve felt compelled to do all of my life — fight for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden,” Davis said when reached for her reaction on the award announcement.

Davis is the preeminent authority in the United States on the exercise and abuse of prosecutorial power, with prominent scholarly exploration into these issues. She is the author of several books, including Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor (2009), a groundbreaking examination of how the vast power of prosecutors can be abused, and Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment (2017), a collection of essays on over-policing of communities of color and the epidemic of fatal shootings of unarmed black men.

Davis is a major voice in the national conversation around criminal justice reform, affirmative action, and access to justice. She has served on the board of the Southern Center for Human Rights and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Criminal Justice Initiative. She previously served at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, joining as a staff attorney in 1982 and rising to become executive director in 1991.

Established in 1993 and presented in alternating years as the William J. Brennan Jr. Award, the Thurgood Marshall Award honors the exceptional achievement of a member of the D.C. Bar in the areas of civil rights, individual liberties, and the public interest.