CW legal team files reply brief with Ninth Circuit on behalf of Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas

June 2024

Dr. Mark Ridley-Thomas's legal team, led by CW partners Alyssa Bell and Michael Schafler, filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The team argues that the government, in its recent answering brief, attempted to recast and even abandon the theories it used to convict Dr. Ridley-Thomas at trial. In a statement, Bell called the government's response "a telling about-face" that "amounts to a concession that Dr. Ridley-Thomas’s convictions are invalid as a matter of law and must be reversed.”


Additionally, the team asserts, the government denied Dr. Ridley-Thomas a fair trial by intentionally striking Black women from the jury—a challenge to the precedent set in Batson v. Kentucky. "The government’s decision to dismiss two Black female jurors, and then minimize the impact of this biased decision, is deeply troublesome," Schafler said. "The Ninth Circuit has yet to recognize an intersectional race-and-gender class for Batson purposes. Other courts have already done so. It’s beyond time that the Ninth Circuit follow suit."

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