2007 Archive

Death Penalty Clinic's Alper wins "Angel Award'' for pro bono work

California Lawyer Magazine has selected Death Penalty Clinic Associate Director Ty Alper as one of 20 Angel Award winners for his pro-bono work on an Alabama case. The magazine presents the annual award to lawyers who demonstrate a “fierce commitment to pro bono cases.’’ Alper took up the case of Walter Lee Rhone Jr. in 2004, when working as a staff attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. Rhone was serving a life sentence for murder in an Alabama state prison for a drive-by shooting death. Alper opened an investigation into Rhone's case, uncovering evidence of widespread misconduct in the trial, the magazine reported. A judge also found evidence that jurors improperly visited the crime scene, and granted Rhone a new trial, in which Alper submitted an amended petition. Rhone, who maintains his innocence, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to time served. Alper brought the case with him to the law school in 2004 and continued to work on it in conjunction with the human rights center. 12/10/2007