News Release

Cynthia Roseberry Receives Champion of Justice Award from Nation's Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Sept. 14, 2017) – Earlier today, at its Presidential Summit & Seminar "Race Matters: The Impact on Criminal Justice," the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) presented Cynthia W. Roseberry with its Champion of Justice Award. Champion of Justice Awards are bestowed upon those individuals who—through legal, legislative, journalistic, or humanitarian pursuits—have staunchly preserved or defended the constitutional rights of American citizens and have endeavored to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime.

As the Project Manager of Clemency Project 2014 (CP 2014), Roseberry played a vital role in ensuring the Project’s success. CP 2014 was a working group composed of lawyers and advocates including the Federal Public and Community Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The American Bar Association, and NACDL. Roseberry oversaw the smooth and efficient operation of CP 2014, including managing inmate intake, attorney training and allocation, and resource provision. She assisted in recruiting and training nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse backgrounds and completed screenings of the more than 36,000 federal prisoners who requested assistance. Her immense dedication to the project helped CP 2014 submit nearly 2,600 petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. In total, President Obama granted nearly 900 petitions supported by CP 2014.

NACDL President Rick Jones, who presented Roseberry with the award, said: "In the finest tradition of Sojourner Truth, winning battles in the courtroom and Harriet Tubman, leading Black people to freedom, Cynthia Roseberry demonstrates the courage, commitment, and excellence that allows her to, so ably, stand on their shoulders. That is why I am so proud and honored to present her with the NACDL Champion of Justice Award."

Upon receiving this award, Roseberry said: "I am proud of the work we did to reunite families. There is more work ahead because far too many remain locked away from their families and communities. I accept this award on behalf of our brothers and sisters who continue to languish in prison."

Roseberry currently serves as the Executive Director of Council for Court Excellence, having joined in June 2017. She is also co-chairing NACDL’s Presidential Summit & Seminar "Race Matters: The Impact on Criminal Justice" with NACDL President Rick Jones. Roseberry served on the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, a nine-person, bipartisan blue-ribbon panel created by Congress in 2015. Prior to serving as Project Manager of CP 2014, Roseberry was the executive director of the Federal Defenders of the Middle District of Georgia from 2009 to 2014. From 2007 to 2009 at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, she taught advanced criminal procedure, co-taught at the death penalty clinic, and founded the misdemeanor clinic. Prior to this, she practiced federal and state level criminal defense in Georgia.

Roseberry was the first black female president of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is a founding board member of the Georgia Innocent Project, and serves as secretary of the Wilberforce University Board of Trustees. She is also a national and international trainer and frequently presents at CLEs and conferences around the country and world. Roseberry graduated with her undergraduate degree from Wilberforce University and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law.

To see past recipients of the Champion of Justice Award, visit

Featured Products


Alexandra Funk, NACDL Public Affairs & Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7647 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.