White & Case



Pro Bono Rank Firm
(Am Law 200 Rank)
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White & Case (6)


White & Case took on the pro bono representation of Aaron Lee Jones, an inmate on Alabama's death row, in 1991. Litigation partners Vincent Fitzpatrick and Heather McDevitt handled Jones's The Am Law Pro Bono 100defense right up until he was executed by lethal injection in May 2007.

Afterward, Fitzpatrick and McDevitt, together with senior associate Stephanie Cohen, were asked by the non-profit Equal Justice Initiative to represent two additional death row cases, those of Willie McNair and James Callahan. The firm also acted as cocounsel with the Southern Center for Human Rights for another inmate, Darrell Grayson. The work on those cases led them to challenge Alabama's method of execution by lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment.

While Fitzpatrick and McDevitt pursued the cases in Alabama, two Kentucky death row inmates challenged lethal injection as a means of execution before the U.S. Supreme Court (as states awaited the Court's decision, executions across the United States were effectively put on hold between September 2007 and May 2008). In April 2008 the Court ruled that Kentucky's lethal injection procedures were constitutional.

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