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Clive Stafford-Smith

Self Description

May 2012: "Clive Stafford Smith is the founder and Director of Reprieve.

Clive oversees Reprieve’s casework programme, as well as the direct representation of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay and on death row as a Louisiana licensed attorney at law.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in New York, Clive spent nine years as a lawyer with the Southern Center for Human Rights working on death penalty cases and other civil rights issues. In 1993, Clive moved to New Orleans and launched the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, a non-profit law office specialising in representation of poor people in death penalty cases.

In total, Clive has represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty in the southern United States. While he only took on the cases of those who could not afford a lawyer – he has never been paid by a client – and always the most despised, he prevented in the death penalty in all but six cases (a 98% “victory” rate). Few lawyers ever take a case to the US Supreme Court – Clive has taken five, and all of the prisoners prevailed.

In 2001, when the US military base at Guantánamo Bay was pressed into service to hold prisoners beyond the reach of the courts, Clive joined two other lawyers to sue for access to the prisoners there. He believed that the camp was an affront to the democracy and the rule of law: his ultimate goal was to close Guantánamo and restore to the US and its allies their legitimacy as champions of human rights. During those early days, Clive received death threats and was labelled a “traitor” for defending “terrorists”; it was three years before the Supreme Court allowed lawyers into the prison camp.

Meanwhile, Clive travelled the Middle East to find the families of the ‘disappeared’ prisoners, undeterred by the interventions by unhappy US allies - including the Jordanian secret police, who took him into custody in 2004..."

Third-Party Descriptions


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Student/Trainee (past or present) Columbia University Organization May 7, 2012
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Founded/Co-Founded by Reprieve International Organization May 7, 2012
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) Organization May 7, 2012

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Apr 28, 2012 Buy Your Own Drone! Now Only $300 Online: We don’t need to imagine the future anymore.... In the dystopian reality of 2012, the drone can ruin your life in ways you never imagined.

QUOTE: independent data suggest that U.S. drones have killed hundreds of women and children. That should be no surprise, since the CIA is using the same forms of intelligence that landed 779 people in Guantánamo Bay, more than 80 percent of whom were subsequently shown not to be terrible terrorists. The intel the agency relies on is purchased by offering bounties to people who would sell their own grandmothers for half the price.

The Daily Beast