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Scott Turow is an attorney and an author. His first book, One L, about his experience as a first-year student at Harvard Law School, was published in 1977. Ten years later, Scott Turow achieved a life-long ambition, with the publication of his first novel, Presumed Innocent, followed by The Burden of Proof and Pleading Guilty. His fourth novel, The Laws of Our Fathers, was published in 1996. Personal Injuries, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October, 1999. Scott Turow's books have been translated into more than 20 languages and, in total, have sold approximately twenty-five million copies worldwide, and have won a number of literary awards. His latest book, Ultimate Punishment: A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty, was published on October 1, 2003.
Scott Turow continues to work as an attorney. He is a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm with 600 lawyers. Scott Turow's practice centers on white-collar criminal litigation. He devotes a substantial part of his practice now to pro bono work, including representations in cases involving the death penalty. In one of these matters, Alejandro Hernandez, co-defendant of Rolando Cruz, was exonerated after 11 years in prison.
Scott Turow was born on April 12, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with high honors from Amherst College in 1970. That year, he received an Edith Mirrielees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which he attended from 1970-72. From 1972 to 1975, Scott Turow taught Creative Writing at Stanford, as E.H. Jones Lecturer. In 1975, he entered Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 1978. From 1978 to 1986, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. He was one of the prosecutors in the trial of Illinois Attorney General William J. Scott, who was convicted of tax fraud. Scott Turow was also lead government counsel in a number of the trials connected to Operation Greylord, a federal investigation of corruption in the Illinois judiciary. Scott Turow has been active in a number of charitable causes, including Literacy Chicago. In 1997-98, he served as president of the Authors Guild, which is the national membership organization for professional writers, and continues to serve on its governing board. He is a Trustee of Amherst College.
Scott Turow has been appointed to a number of public bodies. He is Chair of the Illinois State Appellate Defender's Commission, which oversees the state agency that represents indigent criminal defendants in their appeals. He served as one of the fourteen members of the Commission appointed in March, 2000, by Illinois Governor George Ryan to consider reform of the capital punishment system; the Commission was appointed after Governor Ryan declared a moratorium on executions and delivered its report in April 2002. From 2000 to 2002, Scott Turow was a member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board, which determines matters of hiring, promotion and discipline for members of the Illinois State Police. He also has served in 1997 and 1998 on the United States Senate Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois, which recommended appointment of federal judges.
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