CBA Record July-August 2018

In Memoriam

Remembering Judge George N. Leighton A Man of Courage, Principle, and Integrity

Judge Leighton at the cranberry bogs in Massachusetts where he labored as a child. Photos by Jeff Coleman of Jenner & Block.

G eorge Leighton was a great lawyer and judge, and a man of the highest courage, principle, and integrity. At every opportunity in his long life, George fought racism and injustice, and he did so with dignity and persever- ance. My family and I were privileged to have George as a dear friend.

of them successfully in the U. S. Supreme Court) and fought tirelessly—in Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi—against race discrimination in voting, jury selection, housing, and the administration of our criminal justice system. Born in New Bedford, MA, the son of immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands

George Leighton’s work as a lawyer was truly legendary. He became one of the great criminal defense and civil rights lawyers in our community. In the 1950s and 1960s, George singlehandedly represented most of the men on death row in Chicago, litigated some of the most important habeas corpus cases in our country’s history (arguing two

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