Justice Thurgood Marshall Civil Liberties Award
The Justice Thurgood Marshall Award is presented to a graduating Juris Doctor student who has exhibited outstanding performance in and dedication to the field of civil rights and civil liberties. The recipient, Macy Mize, will be given an engraved plaque, a monetary award, and her name will be inscribed on a wall plaque at the law school.
Macy was nominated for this award by one of our faculty members for securing the early release of a 69 year old client, who had been incarcerated for 38 years, under a newly enacted DC COVID-19 emergency statute. The faculty member said: “Macy was a student in my clinic in the spring 2020 semester. She worked with a 69-year client who had been incarcerated for 38 years for several armed robberies that occurred in 1982 over a 3 week period. The client had an extremely complicated sentence -- having been convicted in both Maryland and DC courts for related crimes -- and Macy dove into unraveling the complexities of the case with great zeal. She traveled to multiple courts to retrieve historical records and tirelessly researched archival documents.
Macy and her clinic partner's goal was to obtain early release for their client. However, they faced many challenges. The District of Columbia passed emergency legislation creating a compassionate release program for older prisoners with chronic or terminal health conditions. Once more -- and for the second time in a 10 day period -- Macy and her partner dove into the novel law, researching both COVID-related medical data, as well as COVID statistics in the BOP. They combed through their client's prison and medical records, reaffirmed his release plan, and wrote a compassionate release motion to submit to the court. It is a stunning piece of work and particularly impressive because of the novelty of the legal issue and the 4-day timeframe they had to write it (as well as to respond to nuanced objections by the government).
One day later, the court ruled in favor of Macy's client's release. And 24 hours after that, he walked free for the first time in 38 years. I have never seen anything that comes close to resembling the speed and efficiency with which this occurred. We believe Macy's client was the first to be released under the new compassionate release law.”
Macy attended Baylor University, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
She was the senior production editor for The George Washington Law Review.
Macy J. Mize
Thank you to my family and friends who have supported me through this entire journey. Most importantly, thank you to my husband, Kylynn, who survived 1L with me and still decided to marry me during 3L. I couldn't have done it without all of you.
"Laughter is my job. Tears are my game. Law is my profession."