Co-Founder & Counsel for the Liberation Heist

federal lawyer • anti-carceral policy strategist •  constitutional law expert

File_000 (1)

MiAngel Cody picks locks to human cages. She won presidential clemency and freedom for five prisoners serving life sentences. Ms. Cody has defended hundreds of people in federal court, achieving a range of courtroom victories—from jury acquittals to successful federal appeals to significantly reduced sentences.  Ms. Cody has testified at legislative briefings concerning the societal imperative for decarceration. In 2014, Ms. Cody received the Federal Bar Association’s National Younger Federal Lawyer of the Year Award.  She is a featured criminal justice blogger for The Huffington Post.Ms. Cody worked as an Assistant Federal Defender in Chicago for eight years. Prior to joining the Federal Defender’s Office, Ms. Cody was a commercial litigator at an AmLaw 200 law firm. She served in two federal clerkships: for the Honorable Ann Claire Williams of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Myron Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. Ms. Cody received her law degree from Emory University School of Law, and she received her undergraduate degree from

Ms. Cody worked as an Assistant Federal Defender in Chicago for eight years. Prior to joining the Federal Defender’s Office, Ms. Cody was a commercial litigator at an AmLaw 200 law firm. She served in two federal clerkships: for the Honorable Ann Claire Williams of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Myron Thompson in the Middle District of Alabama. Ms. Cody received her law degree from Emory University School of Law, and she received her undergraduate degree from Xavier University of Louisiana. Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Cody was a capital defense investigator and spent seven years listening to the stories of death row prisoners in Louisiana and Georgia. Ms. Cody believes the Sixth Amendment demands the highest caliber of representation to those with the least financial means, especially when their freedom or life is at stake.

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

  • “Combatting Racial and Ethnic Injustice in the Criminal Justice System,” National Seminar For Federal Defenders, May 27, 2015
  • “Winning Theories for Mental Health & Mitigation in Sentencing,” Administrative Office of the Courts Federal Defender Seminar, May 14, 2015
  • “Changing Sentences, Changing Lives: Reinvigorating Presidential Clemency to Dismantle Mass Incarceration,” ACLU/FAMM Keynote, Washington, D.C., May 2014
  • “Constitution USA: The Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel,” PBS documentary series featured constitutional expert, May 2013

AWARDS

  • Federal Bar Association Younger Federal Lawyer of the Year Award (2014)
  • Excellence in Public Service Award, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2014)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana 40 Under 40 Alumni Awards Honoree (2016)
  • Excellence Award  – Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Chicago (2017)

Guild rally


900 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 7E, Chicago, IL 60607  •  tel: (312) 948-8128  •  @decarceratenow   •   miangelcody@decarcerationcollective.org