Cameron University will join colleges and universities across the nation to celebrate Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, with “The Constitution, Controversy and the Right to a Defense,” a presentation by noted attorney Stephen Jones. Constitution Day is a national observance which recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and the creation of United States citizens in 1787. The event takes place in the McCasland Ballroom at 1 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge.
Once described as “the Atticus Finch of Oklahoma” by then Oklahoma State Attorney General Mike Turpen, Jones has practiced law for five decades and has gained a national reputation for managing highly complex investigations and litigation. He has argued before both the Supreme Court of the United States and the Court of Criminal Appeals. In addition, Jones has appeared as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and 60 Minutes to discuss noteworthy trials and legal issues.
One of his early experiences with a controversial case was the defense of Keith Green, a college student who displayed a home-made Viet Cong flag at an ROTC drill in protest of the Vietnam War. Keith Green was arrested in violation of a state law prohibiting the display of a "red flag or emblem of anarchy or rebellion." After 12 lawyers had refused to defend the student, Jones took the case and was promptly dismissed from the law firm where he was employed. Jones argued in court that the disloyalty statute was unconstitutional, and the judge dismissed the case, overturning the statute.
Jones achieved national publicity when he was appointed by the United States District Court to serve as lead defense counsel for Timothy James McVeigh, charged with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995. He has authored a book about his experiences in this case titled, "Others Unknown: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Conspiracy".
Cameron’s observance of Constitution Day is sponsored by the School Graduate and Professional Studies, the Department of Social Sciences and the Lawton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Constitution Day commemorates September 17, 1787, a key point in U.S. history, when the 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document that defined and separated powers of the federal government. For more information about Constitution Day, go to www.constitutioncenter.org.
September 9, 2016