UW Law clinical professor Renagh O'Leary's scholarship on compassionate release and decarceration was recently honored by the Association of American Law Schools' Criminal Justice Section. O'Leary was named the runner-up for the annual Junior Scholars Paper competition, which encourages and recognizes scholarship by junior members of the legal academy.

O'Leary’s paper, "Compassionate Release and Decarceration in the States," examines state compassionate release laws, which create a path to early release from prison based on a serious or terminal health condition.

"Because compassionate release is the only early release measure available in nearly every state, it is a useful case study for thinking about the possibilities and limitations of other early release measures, such as geriatric release and second look sentencing," said O'Leary.

The paper argues that to be effective tools for decarceration, compassionate release and other early release measures must reduce the obstacles to release for people incarcerated for violent convictions.

O'Leary is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Legal Assistance to Incarcerated People Project at the Frank J. Remington Center. Before joining the Remington Center, O'Leary was a trial attorney at the Bronx Defenders, a public defender's office committed to an innovative model of holistic representation. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a comments editor for the Yale Law Journal and received the C. LaRue Munson Prize for her clinical work. She received her B.A. in political science, with highest honors, from the University of Michigan.


Submitted by Law School News on January 7, 2022

This article appears in the categories: Faculty, Features

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