June 05, 2020

Roper v. Simmons

Many volunteer attorneys made outstanding contributions that resulted in the end of the juvenile death penalty in Roper v. Simmons. Pro bono counsel from WilmerHale, led by partner Seth Waxman, represented Chris Simmons in his arguments before the United States Supreme Court. Other volunteer attorneys wrote amicus briefs in support of Chris, including those from Skadden Arps, who authored an amicus brief on behalf of the American Bar Association. Last, but certainly not least, many volunteer attorneys represented death row prisoners who were under the age of 18 at the time of their offenses. The efforts of these attorneys to obtain stays of execution and preserve appeals were instrumental in allowing their clients to benefit from the Court’s decision. The Court’s ruling affected 72 juvenile offenders in 12 states. Below are the names of some of the individuals saved by the decision in Roper v. Simmons and the volunteer law firms who represented them:

  • Maura Barraza (Texas) – Represented by Jenner & Block LLP
  • Roderick Eskridge (Mississippi) – Represented by Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP
  • Exzavious Gibson (Georgia) – Represented by King & Spalding LLP
  • Derek Guillen (Texas) – Represented by Clark Hill PLC
  • Cedric Howard (Louisiana) – Represented by Covington & Burling LLP
  • Matthew Hyde (Alabama) – Represented by Arent Fox LLP
  • Larry Jenkins (Georgia) – Represented by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
  • Kenny Loggins (Alabama) – Represented by Paul Weiss LLP