Death Penalty Litigation

Professor Bernard E. Harcourt began his legal career representing individuals sentenced to death in Alabama at the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center (now the Equal Justice Initiative) in Montgomery, AL. He continues to represent condemned individuals and has represented Doyle Lee Hamm and Phillip Wayne Tomlin for three decades. Mr. Hamm is no longer at risk for execution, and Mr. Tomlin is currently serving life without parole. Last year, Professor Harcourt began representing David Wilson, who was sentenced to death in Alabama in 2008, at the federal habeas stage. He is assisted by law and undergraduate students in the Abolition Practicum.

In 2019, Professor Harcourt was awarded the New York City Bar Association Norman J. Redlich Capital Defense Distinguished Service Award for his work on behalf of individuals on death row.

While at the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center, Professor Harcourt worked with Bryan Stevenson on the case of Walter McMillian. Mr. McMillian was exonerated, and his story was memorialized by Bryan Stevenson in the book Just Mercy, published in 2014. In the photo above, Professor Harcourt is seen with Walter McMillian and Bryan Stevenson on the day Mr. McMillian was released.

View more information on Doyle Lee Hamm's case

View more information on Phillip Tomlin's case.

View more information on David Wilson's case.