Getting Justice: A Case History of How to Right a Criminal Wrong One Person at a Time

In Bryan Stevenson's talk in September 2017,  "American Injustice: Mercy, Humanity, and Making a Difference," he explored the themes of "injustice" and "hope". Stephen Brown ’71 and Jim Figorski, a 25-year veteran with the Philadelphia Police Department, will expand upon these themes in the context of a specific case in Philadelphia. Mr. Figorski worked tirelessly for 8 years, along with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project,  to free Shaurn Thomas who served 24 years for a murder he did not commit. Mr. Thomas was freed on May, 23, 2017. Mr. Thomas’ case is a textbook example of how a homicide investigation can go wrong, and how the extraordinary efforts of one lawyer can make a difference in correcting that wrong. Mr. Thomas’ case is featured in the podcast, Undisclosed.  

This case was covered extensively in the national media including the Washington Post and People magazine and internationally by BBC. James Figorski, now senior staff attorney at Dechert, LLC, has represented Mr. Thomas on a pro bono basis since 2011.

Sponsored by the Political Science Department and Williams Reads, which aims to foster new connections among students, staff, faculty, and community members by exploring diversity through a common reading experience. This year's common read is Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

Thursday, January 18 at 7:30pm

Griffin Hall, Room 3

Event Type



Political Science, Davis Center, Alumni Relations, Williams Reads


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