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Research Programs

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

  • Fair Punishment Project’s new Legal Advisory Council issues brief on sentences for juveniles

    November 21, 2016

    The HLS Fair Punishment Project’s Legal Advisory Council has issued an issue brief arguing that a sentencer may impose a life without parole sentence upon a juvenile only after concluding that the child is “the rare juvenile offender who exhibits such irretrievable depravity that rehabilitation is impossible.”

  • Professor Charles Ogletree ’78,

    Taking on a New Cause

    October 21, 2016

    HLS Professor Charles Ogletree ’78 announced this summer that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and said he will work to raise awareness of the disease and its disproportionate effect on African-Americans. In sharing his story and putting a spotlight on this disease, he is continuing his lifelong efforts to help others.

  • Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Professor Ogletree vows to fight it

    July 14, 2016

    Charles Ogletree '78, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, recently announced that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He said he will work to raise awareness of the disease and its disproportionate effect on African Americans.

  • Seizing the Opportunity

    April 28, 2016

    Since graduating from Harvard College in 1985 and then getting his law degree, Alan Jenkins '89 had been on a career fast track, but he felt frustrated about the forces of injustice and inequality he saw around him.

  • Death Penalty 2015: Lowest number of executions in 25 years, but marked by disability and impairment

    December 23, 2015

    In 2015, America had the lowest number of executions in 25 years, according to a new report released by Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice. But of the 28 people executed, 68% suffered from severe mental disabilities or experienced extreme childhood trauma and abuse.

  • Harvard Law School: 2015 in review

    December 17, 2015

    Supreme Court justices, performance art, student protests and a vice president. A look back at 2015, highlights of the people who visited, events that took place and everyday life at Harvard Law School.

  • Honored ‘ambassadors for Harvard Law School’ reflect on long friendship

    October 22, 2015

    The Harvard Law School Association presented its highest award this past spring to William P. Alford ’77 and Charles J. Ogletree ’78 —two of Harvard Law School's most distinguished professors, mentors to generations of jurists, advisers to senators, presidents and world leaders, and celebrated doers of good works—and longtime friends.

  • HLS report explores potential and limitations of body cameras for police

    June 8, 2015

    The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School has released a report, authored by Chike Croslin '16, Justin Dews, and Jaimie McFarlin '15 of the Harvard Black Law Students Association, titled Independent Lens: Toward Transparency, Accountability, and Effectiveness in Police Tactics. The report explores the potential and limitations of body-worn cameras for police.

  • Dying While Black and Brown

    May 4, 2015

    In March, Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice sponsored a dance performance at HLS titled “Dying While Black and Brown.” Presented one day before the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march, it dramatized the disproportionate incarceration and execution of people of color.

  • Dying While Black and Brown: Hamilton Houston Institute hosts dance performance on incarceration and capital punishment (video)

    March 20, 2015

    On March 6, Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice hosted Dying While Black and Brown, a dance performance focused on capital punishment and the disproportionate numbers of incarcerated people of color. The performance was first commissioned by the San Francisco Equal Justice Society as part of the society’s campaign to restore 14th Amendment protections for victims of discrimination, including those on death row.

  • After Ferguson, students and faculty seek solutions in law and policy

    January 15, 2015

    And discussions have continued into the new year about the policy and procedures of police, prosecutors and the community at large.

  • Advocates explore how to build a greater Boston region for all

    July 18, 2014

    Equity advocates from around Greater Boston gathered at Harvard Law School on July 11 for a discussion about the region’s key priorities in promoting opportunity for people of all backgrounds. The event included speeches, panels and the release of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s “State of Equity in Metro Boston” Policy Agenda.

  • ‘Free’ voter IDs are costly, Harvard Law report finds

    June 26, 2014

    Obtaining a “free” voter identification card can typically cost an individual between $75 and $175. When legal fees are factored in, the cost can increase…

  • The politics of money: Feldman on the Court and campaign finance

    April 7, 2014

    The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down aggregate campaign contribution limits, in a ruling that frees individuals to donate to as many candidates as they wish. Harvard Law School’s Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of International Law, spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the ruling, and what it means for elections and for the future of campaign-finance reform.

  • In Honor of Nelson Mandela: When, if ever, is violence justifiable in struggles for political or social change? (video)

    March 28, 2014

    A panel of scholars gathered at Harvard Law School March 14 to examine the legacy of Nelson Mandela with a discussion about the use of violence for political or social change.

  • Juvenile in Justice: HLS hosts photo exhibit by Richard Ross (video)

    March 28, 2014

    Credit: Lolita Parker Jr. Richard Ross is a photographer and professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. His photo project, Juvenile In Justice, turns…

  • Juvenile in Justice: a photo exhibit by Richard Ross

    March 24, 2014

    A selection of photographs from photographer Richard Ross' haunting collection, "Juvenile in Justice," is on display at Harvard Law School, on the 3rd floor of Wasserstein Hall, from March 21 to April 11. The exhibit is sponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice.

  • Docherty, Nomamiukor and Pyetranker at an NGO forum

    Clinical Voices: Jonathan Nomamiukor ’13 reflects on his experience

    July 3, 2013

    Read more about what compelled Jonathan Nomamiukor ’13 to take a break from law school, his work with Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic on the issue of fully autonomous weapons, and the mentorship he received from Clinical Instructor Bonnie Docherty.

  • Ken Burns and HLS Professor Charles Ogletree

    Ken Burns offers preview of ‘Central Park Five’ at HLS (video)

    April 17, 2013

    On March 12 at Harvard Law School, award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns joined Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree and two Central Park Five members for a film screening and panel discussion of his new documentary “The Central Park Five,” which tells the story of five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of raping and beating a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The event was co-sponsored by Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and the Prison Studies Project and the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

  • HLS Professors Charles Ogletree ’78 and Lani Guinier

    Guinier and Ogletree honored by the Maynard Institute

    February 21, 2013

    In commemoration of Black History Month, Harvard Law School Professors Lani Guinier and Charles Ogletree ’78 were recognized by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education as two of 28 noteworthy African-Americans who have contributed to the “world of words.”

  • Looking back at Little Rock: At HLS, Justice Breyer and nine appellate justices revisit Cooper v. Aaron

    November 1, 2012

    In October, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice sponsored a two-day conference looking back at Cooper v. Aaron and the impact it’s had on law and education over the course of 55 years. The event brought together legal scholars, students, and civil-rights lawyers and featured a moot-court proceeding involving U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and nine appellate judges, to revisit the legal questions raised by Cooper.