THE RULE OF LAW ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
Clive Stafford Smith
Founder and Director, Reprieve
An interview of Clive Stafford Smith conducted June 28, 29 and 30, 2010, in Dorset, England, by Ronald J. Grele for the Columbia Center for Oral History, Rule of Law Oral History Project.
Clive Stafford Smith is the Founder and Director of Reprieve, an organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Stafford Smith has represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty in the southern United States and has helped secure the release of 65 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay (and still works on behalf of 15 more). Highlights of this interview include Stafford Smith’s discussion of his career spanning from more than twenty years working on death penalty, civil rights, and indigent defense issues at the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Louisiana Crises Assistance Center; being one of three lawyers who first sued and won access to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the U.S. Supreme Court case Rasul/Al Odah v. Bush (2004); and undertaking the discovery of the identities of unknown prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Bagram and Diego Garcia and other secret detention sites.