SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Dr. Stephen Bright, professor of practice at Georgia State College and former president, senior counsel and director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Wofford College’s Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. His topic will be “The Triumph of Law Over Fairness: How Race, Poverty and Procedural Rules Determine Outcomes in Death Penalty and Other Criminal Cases.” The program is free and open to the public.

Bright was with the Southern Center for Huan Rights in Atlanta from 1982 until 2016. He began teaching at Georgia State College in 2017. As an attorney, he has tried capital cases before juries in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi; argued four capital cases before the Supreme Court; and argued many other cases before state and federal appellate courts. Subjects of his litigation, teaching and writing include capital punishment, legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, conditions and practices in prisons and jails, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, and judicial independence.

He received the American Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Award in 1998. The Fulton Daily Law Report, a legal newspaper in Georgia, named him "Newsmaker of the Year" in 2003 for his contribution to bringing about creation of a public defender system in Georgia. Before joining the Southern Center, he was a legal services attorney in Appalachia, and a public defender and director of a law school clinical program in Washington, D.C.