Bailey Russell

  • Hosted by Capital Post-Conviction Project Louisiana
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Bailey seeks to empower vulnerable communities of color to resist capital punishment convictions in the Greater New Orleans Area.

People are being sentenced to death at an alarming rate in Louisiana—specifically African Americans. A steady rate of capital convictions persists, despite the current stay on executions in the state. Once convicted, the majority of individuals have little post-conviction legal assistance available to them, and many are unaware of the resources that do exist. Additionally, the majority of these capital defendants are black or people of color (POC), and indigent. Vulnerable communities can resist the school to capital punishment pipeline and fight back against capital convictions, when they understand the inner workings of Louisiana’s racially targeted capital punishment system.

Bailey’s internship working on Louisiana’s Death Row exposed her to the humanity of those awaiting execution. Her Haitian roots mixed with her dedication to equity for black and POC communities, inspires her to do this work.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Bailey will provide direct services for clients in the post-conviction process. She will gather data on the racial and economic disparities present in Louisiana’s capital punishment system, by working with local nonprofits who collect this research. She will also collaborate with local community leaders to disseminate information on the death penalty and empower vulnerable communities to fight back against capital conviction rates.

I found something I didn’t know was lost—community. My community. My community encompasses the black, brown, and queer POC of New Orleans. These communities enveloped me in their love, strength and pain. I want to return the embrace by sharing the tools involved in dismantling the systematic oppression that they battle every day. This fellowship allows me to do that.

Bailey Russell /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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