BPDA Newsroom

BPDA Statement on the Historic Appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (April 7, 2022) — Judge Brown Jackson’s appointment sends a clear message that our most vulnerable and marginalized deserve representation in our Courts around the country. We look forward to seeing the impact that her fresh, new, and experienced perspective can make on future decisions.
BPDA and Gifts of Life Ministries to Launch Reimagining Public Safety Community Forums
MEMPHIS (March 15, 2022) — The Black Public Defender Association (BPDA) and Gifts of Life Ministries are pleased to announce the launch of “Reimagining Public Safety,” a series of community forums that will engage Black Memphis residents in a collaborative discussion on ways to redefine the term “public safety.” The project will host its first forum via virtual community town hall...
BPDA Statement on the Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (February 25, 2022) — The Black Public Defender Association Executive Director & Board Chair Heather Pinckney issued the following statement in response to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  Photo Credit: Kevin Lamarque Poole for Getty Images BPDA celebrates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman public defender nominated to the Supreme Court....
BPDA Statement on the Conviction of William Bryan and Travis and Gregory McMichaels
WASHINGTON (November 29, 2021) — The Black Public Defender Association Executive Director & Board Chair Heather Pinckney issued the following statement in response to the conviction of William Bryan and Travis and Gregory McMichaels in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery: Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Ahmaud Arbery. We hope the verdict brings them some peace and starts the beginning...
BPDA Statement on the Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict
WASHINGTON (November 23, 2021) — The Black Public Defender Association Executive Director & Board Chair Heather Pinckney issued the following statement in response to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict: “The Kyle Rittenhouse verdict serves as a reminder that a system will never fail those that it was designed to protect. The American criminal legal system was built for individuals like Kyle....
BPDA Statement on the Derek Chauvin Verdict
WASHINGTON (April 20, 2021) — The Black Public Defender Association released the following statement in response to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case: “Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of George Floyd. We hope the verdict brings them some peace.  As Black defenders, we bear witness to the assaults inflicted on our clients, most of whom will never be known nationally by name....
BPDA Statement on Why Anti-Racism Must be the End Goal of Justice System Reform
BPDA fully supports the sentiments expressed in Philadelphia’s Chief Defender Keir Bradford-Grey’s op-ed. WASHINGTON (November 10, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement today on why anti-racism must be the end goal of “progressive” prosecution and systemic justice reform in our country. We fully support the sentiments expressed in Philadelphia’s Chief...
BPDA Statement on the Decision Not to Indict the Louisville Police Officers for the Killing of Breonna Taylor
WASHINGTON (September 25, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association extends our heartfelt condolences to Breonna Taylor’s family, friends, and loved ones. Wednesday’s announcement of the grand jury’s decision to not indict the Louisville police officers for the killing of Breonna Taylor ​is unsurprising but still deeply painful for Black America. The grand jury’s announcement, which was made on...
BPDA and CJR issue new joint report on the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated people, and the larger Black community
“Save Black Lives” takes a deep dive into the impact of COVID-19 and incarceration in Black communities through the lens of Black defenders and researchers. WASHINGTON (August 5, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association and the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University today released “Save Black Lives: A Call for Racially-responsive Strategies and Resources for...
BPDA Statement on Remarks Made by Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins
Rollins slams the public defense community in an effort to raise issues of race and privilege in the public defender offices. WASHINGTON (May 12, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement today in response to Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins comments made during a live interview on WGBH-FM radio show. Rollins called public defenders “overwhelmingly...
BPDA Statement on Bail Reform in New York
WASHINGTON (February 12, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement on bail reform in New York: “Let’s call it what it is — classic fear-mongering by tough-on-crime proponents who refuse to admit that money is used to unfairly keep Black and Brown people locked in cages. It is the same tactic used across the nation to stop progressive criminal justice legislation aimed...
BPDA Statement on Chicago Tribune Story on Bail Funds
WASHINGTON (May 7, 2020) — The Black Public Defender Association issued the following statement in response to a recent Chicago Tribune story on bail funds: “We’re deeply disturbed that two organizations that were created to level the playing field are under attack for helping Black and brown people post bail. Here again, another Willie Horton style fear mongering by tough-on-crime proponents...