Billy Sothern

Billy Sothern has been representing people facing the death penalty in state and federal court in Louisiana and the South for twenty years, as a staff attorney at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, the deputy director of the Capital Appeals Project, and most recently in private practice. He began working on death penalty cases as a law student NYU Law School, during which time he worked at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He is the co-founder of Reprieve (US). He is a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panels for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Middle District of Louisiana, and the Western District of Louisiana. He has argued numerous capital and complex cases at the Louisiana Supreme Court and the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was part of the legal team in Kennedy v. Louisiana, the United States Supreme Court case holding that the death penalty is unconstitutional in non-homicide child abuse cases. He has been an attorney with the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project for the past year. He has written about criminal and social justice issues for publications including the New York Times, the Nation, and Salon, and is the author of Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City (UC Press, 2007).