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Friday, June 15, 2007

CrimProf Spotlight: Dwight Aarons

Aaronsdwight1006 This week the CrimProf Blog spotlights University of Tennessee School of Law CrimProf Dwight Aarons.

Professor Dwight Aarons earned his B.A. degree in 1986 and his J.D. degree in 1989, both from UCLA. He was the editor-in-chief of the National Black Law Journal during his third year of law school. Immediately after graduation from law school, he served for two years as a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then from 1991 through 1993, he was a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Professor Aarons' particular area of scholarly interest has been the death penalty. At the College of Law, Professor Aarons has been honored as the recipient of the 2003 Harold C. Warner Outstanding Teacher Award; the 2003-04 Forrest W. Lacey Award for Outstanding Contribution to the U.T. College of Law Moot Court Program; and the 2001 Carden Award for Outstanding Service to the Institution.

Professor Aarons has engaged in numerous service activities, including legislative efforts on behalf of the University's professors regarding the changing of course grades, the restoration of voting rights for felons, and the regulation of aerial spraying of pesticides. Professor Aarons has consulted on capital cases in California and Tennessee , and has written amicus briefs to Tennessee appellate courts on criminal law issues.

Some of Professor Aarons' service activities beyond the College include his current service, since 2003, as the Tennessee Assessment Team leader of the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project, which is collecting data on how the death penalty operates within the state, as part of a national study. Professor Aarons served on the Implementation Committee of the Tennessee Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Gender Fairness (1998-2001); the Tennessee Bar Association's Young Lawyers' Division Commission on Women and Minorities in the Profession (1993-1996), and on the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, Minorities in the Profession Planning Board (1992-1996). On behalf of The University of Tennessee, Professor Aarons served on the executive board of the AAUP chapter, and from 1996-1999 he served as a faculty senator in the campus Faculty Senate.

Among his activities at the College of Law , Professor Aarons is the faculty advisor to the Black Law Students Association and the coach of the Frederick Douglass Moot Court team. Locally, Professor Aarons serves as a development consultant a local nonprofit organization after school program in East Knoxville . He has also served as an executive board member of a local community group that monitors and documents complaints of police misconduct.  [Mark Godsey]

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