John Fabian Witt: The Legal History Roundtable series opened the academic year with a lecture by Witt, the Allen H. Duffy Class of 1960 Professor of Law at Yale University. In honor of Constitution Day, he presented the talk, “Two Humanitarianisms.” Witt’s most recent book, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, was awarded the 2013 Bancroft Prize, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and was selected for the ABA’s Silver Gavel Award.
Michael E. Capuano ’77 and Kent Greenfield: In October, the US Congressman and Somerville native, left, joined Professor Greenfield for Conversations@BCLaw, the second in a new BC Law series featuring alumni who are leading figures in politics. Capuano is serving his ninth term as a representative for Massachusetts’ Seventh District, which includes 75 percent of Boston. He was named to the House Ethics Committee in 2013.
Lynne Stewart: The former civil rights lawyer known for representing unpopular defendants and who was herself incarcerated for her overzealous defense of her client, 1993 World Trade Center bombings suspect Omar Abdel-Rahman, spoke in November. She received a compassionate release in 2013 after eight years in prison following a terminal cancer diagnosis. She still advocates for representation of defendants, no matter how despicable the charges against them.
Charlotte Whitmore and Eugene Gilyard: Released from prison in 2013 after serving fifteen years for a murder he didn’t commit, Gilyard owes a special debt to Professor Whitmore of BC Law’s Innocence Program, whose investigative efforts while a staff attorney for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, helped secure his release. Gilyard, speaking without bitterness or rancor and carrying a message to never give up hope, told his story to a rapt BC Law crowd in October.
Michael Dukakis: The former Massachusetts governor, an early advocate of accessible healthcare, is still calling for improvements. In a November visit, he championed a fully implemented Affordable Care Act, more community health centers to provide free care, and a dramatically simplified system. Boston hospitals employ hundreds of workers whose only job is to argue with insurance companies, he said. “If we just simplified, we’d save billions.”