The Catholic University of America

The above picture is from the Fifth Annual CUA Law Pro Bono Reception
(L to R: Dean Daniel F. Attridge, Professor Mark Rienzi, Brian Stolarz, and Jennifer Tschirch) 


Law School Alum’s Client, Former Death Row Inmate, is a Free Man

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Catholic University law school graduate Brian Stolarz, Class of 1998, received news on June 8 that his client, Alfred Dewayne Brown, who had been on death row from 2005 until 2014, was a free man.

After years of committed pro bono engagement to Brown’s case, Stolarz succeeded last year in persuading the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to overturn Brown’s conviction on the basis that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have aided Brown’s defense. Since his conviction was overturned, Brown awaited news from the Harris County, Texas District Attorney as to whether his case would be retried. On Monday, the District Attorney announced she was dismissing the case for insufficient evidence and that Brown was free to return home.

Stolarz was quoted in the Houston Chronicle on his reaction to Brown’s release:

I believed he was innocent the moment I met him, and there's finally justice.
I'm glad justice was finally done. I'm glad it wasn't too late.

After the birth of my kids, this is the greatest day of my life. I feel like it was my own personal,
professional and even religious duty to get him out.

Stolarz, who has spoken on several occasions to the CUA Law community regarding Brown’s case, hopes to bring Brown to campus to give students an opportunity to hear directly from the man who spent more than a dozen years behind bars for a crime to which he has always claimed his innocence.

Stolarz is a partner with LeClairRyan and is a 2007 recipient of the Pro Bono Legal Service Awards from the John Carroll Society and a 2014 recipient of the Caritas Award, the highest official award from the Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Washington.