Profile: sarah.turberville

Sarah E. Turberville is Senior Counsel of the Criminal Justice Program at The Constitution Project in Washington, D.C. In this position, Sarah coordinates the organization’s public education and advocacy efforts with respect to a variety of matters relating to the criminal justice system - such as indigent defense, the death penalty, habeas corpus in state criminal cases, wrongful convictions, and sentencing. Previously, Sarah worked for over five years as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Due Process Review Project and has also served as adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland, teaching a course on the death penalty. She previously worked as an assistant public defender for the State of Maryland, representing indigent defendants at trial and on special dockets for clients raising issues of competency to stand trial and lack of criminal responsibility. Sarah represented individuals wrongfully incarcerated during and after Hurricane Katrina and she also served as a law clerk to the defense bar in the Hague, assisting in the representation of members of the Kosova Liberation Army before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Sarah is a graduate of Tulane Law School and is a member of the Maryland Bar.




On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.


Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE