Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Passionate Advocate

MVFHR board member Jeanne Bishop is one of three alumni being honored today at Northwestern University School of Law for outstanding contributions to public service and the legal community. Renny Cushing is there to introduce Jeanne and tell a bit about her work with MVFHR.

Here's the way the invitation to the awards ceremony describes Jeanne's work:

Jeanne Bishop graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Journalism in 1981 and from Northwestern University School of Law in 1984. She was an associate at Mayer, Brown and Platt (now Mayer Brown LLP) until 1990 when she became a public defender for Cook County following the handgun murders of her sister and brother-in-law and their unborn child. Since the murders, she has been a passionate advocate against the death penalty, for human rights, for common sense gun laws, and for the needs of crime victims. Ms. Bishop is a member of the board of directors of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights (MVFHR), an organization of murder victims' family members who oppose the death penalty, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions. She has served on the board of the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty and volunteers for the gun violence prevention organizations Million Mom March and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. She has spoken frequently, nationally and internationally, against the death penalty, and as part of the Amnesty International Speaker's Bureau.

Ms. Bishop has testified before governmental bodies including the Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment and in death penalty clemency hearings before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. She has also testified before several state legislative committees on the issue of gun violence. Ms. Bishop appears in the death penalty documentaries The Innocent and Too Flawed To Fix and, along with her sister, Jennifer, was the subject of a Chicago Tribune Magazine cover story in May 2001, To Forgive, Divine? Ms. Bishop has been recognized by Concern Worldwide with the Brigid Award for her reconciliation work with MVFHR.

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