This Georgetown professor went from breaking the law to teaching it

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Sunday 23 April 2017 15:00
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Shon Hopwood is a law professor at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

What sets Hopwood out from his former colleagues is his prior dealings with the legal system are from the other side of the witness stand.

Hopwood didn't go down for some minor white collar crime we can all dismiss as 'not that surprising'.

Hopwood robbed banks in Nevada, and has spent 11 years in prison for it.

In August 1997, age 23 Hopwood, living at home with his parents after being kicked out of university and leaving the US Navy, robbed a bank for $50,0000 (USD).

He robbed four more banks before finally being sentenced to 30 years in prison.

While he was there, he worked in the prison law library and also wrote a legal petition for a fellow inmate that led the US Supreme Court to rehear the inmates case.

Since getting out in 2008, Hopwood got his law degree, masters, clerkships, authored a book, and has been teaching at Georgetown for the past year and a half.

His other surreal experiences included meeting his old parole officer, this time as a clerk and not as a former convict, and sitting on a panel with the judge who sentenced him all those years ago.

Hopwood's focus and insight is into federal mandatory sentences, and the huge prison population in the United States.

Georgetown Law's dean William Treanor said:

He understands the problems of incarceration in a way that somebody who just studies them as an academic is not able to get.

HT Washington Post

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