(October 29, 2020) — Lila Silverstein and Neil Fox receive the Civil Libertarian Award for their fruitful efforts on the Gregory case.
This fall, Washington Appellate Project attorney Lila Silverstein received two awards for her work on State v. Gregory, 192 Wn.2d 1 (2018). Lila and her co-counsel, Neil Fox, were honored with the Kathleen Taylor Civil Libertarian Award from the ACLU of Washington and the Distinguished Service Award from the Civil Rights Section of the WSBA.
In Gregory, Lila and Neil presented the Washington Supreme Court with a study they had commissioned by social scientists Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans, demonstrating that black defendants in Washington were significantly more likely than other defendants to be sentenced to death, after controlling for relevant case characteristics. Based on this study and legal arguments presented by Lila, Neil, and amici, the Supreme Court struck down Washington’s capital sentencing scheme as unconstitutionally arbitrary and racially biased.
In presenting the awards, these organizations also thanked Lila for her work on GR 37, a rule aimed at reducing race discrimination in jury selection, and her work with her Washington Appellate Project colleagues fighting the criminalization of poverty.
Congratulations, Lila, and thank you for your dedication to equal justice.