Profile Looks at the Work of the Federal Public Defender’s Office

A piece in the Nashville Scene by Steven Hale looks at the work of Kelley Henry, the supervising assistant federal public defender based in Nashville, who has been representing death row prisoners for more than 20 years. In 2018, she led the challenge against the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol. Now she is at the center of several high-profile cases, including those of Abu-Ali Abdur’Rahman and Sedley Alley. Hale asked Henry how long she would continue to fight these battles. If the time ever came, she said, when one of the people she represented was executed and she did not cry, it would be time to quit. Hale was awarded the TBA’s 2019 Fourth Estate Award, which honors courageous journalism that enhances public understanding of the legal system and the law. He was recognized for his coverage of the executions of Billy Ray Irick, David Earl Miller and Edmund Zagorski, and capital punishment more generally in Tennessee.

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