Stephen K. Harper, Esq.

Stephen K. Harper, Esq.  Stephen K. Harper, Esq.

Stephen K. Harper is a clinical professor at Florida International University College of Law where he teaches a course on the death penalty and serves as the supervising attorney in the College of Law's new Death Penalty Clinic.

For 29 years, Mr. Harper worked at the Miami-Dade Public Defender Office, and for the last 17 he served as Co-coordinator of the Capital Litigation Unit.  He was primarily responsible for the gathering and presentation of mitigation evidence in capital cases.  From 1989 -1995, he served as the Chief of the Juvenile Division.  In 2002, he took a two year leave of absence to coordinate the Juvenile Death Penalty Initiative, a project ending with his oversight of the drafting and filing of amicus briefs in Roper v Simmons.

Mr. Harper has lectured nationally and internationally on both juvenile and death penalty issues.  He worked on the American Bar Association's Guidelines Advisory Committee and participated in the revision of the ABA Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Counsel in Death Penalty Cases.  He has consulted with and advised the military defense team in a case involving a child soldier in Guantanamo under the Military Commissions Act -- USA v Omar Ahmed Khadrand has consulted in the death penalty cases of Abdul Kabir v Quarterman and Brewer v. Quarterman.

In 1998, Mr. Harper received the American Bar Association's Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award for "outstanding dedication and advocacy on behalf of delinquent youth."  In 2005, he received the Southern Center for Human Rights' Frederick Douglass Award for "his demonstrated brilliance and tenacity in defense of human rights in the criminal justice system, and in 2011 received the James "Jim" Evans Slater Award for "your outstanding representation of indigent persons charged with capital crimes, and your relentless pursuit of justice" presented by the Florida Public Defender Association.