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‘Prisons as Laboratories of Antidemocracy’ Topic of Feb. 23 Cannon Lecture

Brandon Hasbrouck, a professor of criminal law and procedure, movement law and abolition at Washington and Lee School of Law, will argue how prisons have served as laboratories of antidemocracy to suppress labor and community organizing, free speech, access to information, protest and bodily autonomy as part of The University of Toledo College of Law’s Cannon Lecture series.

The Cannon Lecture Series, which was established in 1980 to honor former Toledo attorney Joseph A. Cannon, hosts nationally known individuals who explore both the humanistic dimensions and limitations of the legal system.

Hasbrouck’s free, public lecture titled “Prisons as Laboratories of Antidemocracy” is noon Thursday, Feb. 23, in the McQuade Law Auditorium at the Law Center.

Hasbrouck will discuss how prisons are ineffective as tools to prevent individuals from harming society, even as America’s prison population exploded in the 20th Century, devasting Black communities, Black opportunities, Black economic power and Black voting power.

In addition, Hasbrouck says prison administrators honed antidemocratic techniques for constraining and oppressing prisoners that would later be deployed against the free population.

“I am so pleased and excited that Professor Hasbrouck can join us to share his knowledge about this important issue,” said Rebecca Zietlow, associate dean for academic affairs and assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the College of Law.

Hasbrouck’s research explores the legal and constitutional principles available to Congress and the courts to redress the ways law fails Black and other marginalized people and the structural possibilities for radical change in American society.

He has been published in numerous law reviews and media outlets such as the Washington Post, has authored or coauthored amicus briefs in federal court and has been cited or quoted in many other federal court opinions and other popular publications. He is a columnist for the Boston Globe’s “The Emancipator” and is frequently consulted on litigation strategies involving civil rights and racial justice.

Before teaching, Hasbrouck worked at two law firms, McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond, Virginia, and Debevoise and Plimpton LLP in New York, and clerked for two Black federal judges: Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Hasbrouck is admitted to the bar of New York State, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

For more information, visit the lecture series’ website.

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