Thomas P. Sullivan, Board President
Tom is a distinguished attorney with the Chicago-based firm of Jenner & Block. He served as United State’s Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1977 to 1981. Tom co-chaired the Illinois Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment (2000-2002) and chaired the General Assembly’s Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee (2003-2010). His work in both capacities was instrumental in abolition of the Illinois death penalty in 2011.
Leonard C. Goodman, Board Vice President
Len is a Chicago criminal defense lawyer. He has represented both high-profile and indigent defendants with equal vigor, winning cases at every level of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Len is an adjunct professor at DePaul University College of Law, where he teaches federal criminal law. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University College of Law.
Jennifer Thompson, Secretary/Treasurer
Jennifer’s strong convictions about judicial reform and forgiveness come as a result of a rape she suffered as a college student. Her testimony sent Ronald Cotton to a life term in prison for a crime he did not commit. After he was freed, Jennifer and Ronald co-authored the New York Times best seller Picking Cotton. Jennifer is founder and president of Healing Justice, a non-profit dedicated to helping those harmed by wrongful convictions and an improved justice system; and has served on the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission.
Steven H. Cohen
Steven is an attorney specializing in representation of whistleblowers in qui tam cases involving fraud of government programs. He served on the Advisory Board of the Center on Wrongful Convictions from 2005 until 2014 and presently serves on the boards of Beloit College, TCS Educational System, Mikva Challenge, the President’s Council of Taxpayers Against Fraud, and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. He also is co-founder and chair of the Chicago Media Project, a member of Impact Partners Film, and one of the founders of Good Pitch Chicago – three not-for-profit organizations dedicated to furthering social justice through documentaries.
Cynthia Tucker Haynes
Cynthia is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and frequent radio and television commentator. Her weekly column on political and cultural issues appears weekly in newspapers across the country. Haynes previously served as editorial page editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she later worked as Washington based political columnist. More recently, she was a visiting professor and a Charlayne Hunter-Gault writer-in-residence at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A graduate of Auburn University, Haynes was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and serves on the advisory board of Propublica.
Jamie Alter Lynton
Jamie is the founder and executive editor of LA School Report, which she launched in 2012 after working as a journalist, television news producer, and executive for 15 years at CNN, CBS, CNBC, and Court TV. She served both as Los Angeles bureau chief and manager of the Court TV educational division. She has been active in civic projects in both the political and non-profit arenas. She is a board member for Courage Campaign and the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education; is a trustee of the California Institute of the Arts and served on the National Finance Committee for Obama for America in 2007.
Dr. Stephen I. Rennard
Dr. Rennard has extensive interest in data research and experience serving on the boards of such non-profit organizations as the American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society. Dr. Rennard, the first person named scientist laureate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, also is a past winner of the University of Nebraska System Outstanding Research and Creativity Award. He was chief of the pulmonary section at the medical center from 1984 to 1997, and remains the Richard and Margaret Larson Research Professor.
Bryan is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama and professor of law at New York University School of Law. He holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government, and has received honorary degrees from, among others, Harvard, Yale, Penn, and Georgetown. In 1995, he received a genius grant from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and is the author of an acclaimed 2014 memoir, New York Times-Bestseller “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.”