ADVOCACY. Consistent with its research agenda, the Deason Center helps criminal justice stakeholders develop and implement best practices. In support of its research and educational mission, and in recognition of the public service obligation that all lawyers owe to the legal system, the Deason Center also provides direct representation that advances a criminal justice reform agenda.
TROY RHODES V. DARRYL VANNOY
In May of 2018, Judge Milazzo ordered Mr. Rhodes released on bond, pending appeal. Professor Metzger and the Deason Center will continue to represent Mr. Rhodes in his federal appellate proceedings.
LETTERS FROM LIFERS
In March 2018 filming began for the “Letters from Lifers” video series with SMU Dedman School of Law students amplifying voices of people serving life without parole for nonviolent drug offenses.
ACROSS THE FINISH LINE
Across the Finish Line (“ATFL”) is an innovative pro bono partnership between the Deason Center and the lawyers at The Decarceration Collective. ATFL offers SMU Law students a one-week experiential learning program that immerses them in federal criminal defense practice, seeking sentence reductions for non-violent federal drug offenders.
INITIAL APPEARANCE PROJECT
Across the United States, thousands of newly-arrested people disappear, languishing behind bars for days, weeks – or even months – before they ever see a judge or an attorney.