Emily Washington


New Orleans, Louisiana


(504) 620-2259

Areas of Focus

Emily M. Washington joined the Louisiana office as an Attorney in July 2014. She litigates against the death penalty, mistreatment of prisoners, law enforcement brutality and other abuses in the criminal justice system. Ms. Washington is a 2011 graduate of Yale Law School where her work was recognized with the LaRue Monson Prize for Excellence in Clinical Advocacy. At Yale Law School, she represented clients in federal post-conviction cases while assisting the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization and the Capital Punishment Clinic. Ms. Washington graduated from Brown University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and international relations.


Ms. Washington came to Louisiana in 2011 as an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow working at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, focusing on reforming the use of forensic evidence in criminal proceedings. After her fellowship, Ms. Washington continued her career at LCAC as a capital trial attorney, assisting in direct representation to indigent defendants facing the death penalty.


At the Justice Center, Ms. Washington leads litigation teams in our cases challenging the inhumane treatment of pretrial prisoners in Orleans Parish and the failure of officials in Louisiana to release convicted prisoners after they have served their terms of imprisonment. She is co-counsel in our cases challenging the practices of the Louisiana State Police in New Orleans, and seeking to enjoin the use of execution protocols in Mississippi that present an unacceptable risk of torturous death for condemned prisoners in that state.

Featured Cases

Jones v. Gusman

Jail and Prison Conditions

The MacArthur Justice Center represented the prisoners at the Orleans Parish Prison against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman. The suit described the inhumane conditions where prisoners often were subjected to violence, sexual assaults, neglect and the denial of needed mental health services. Litigation began in April 2012; the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in September 2012; and an agreement was reached to address the conditions in December 2012. The MacArthur Justice Center remains involved in the implementation of the consent decree, monitoring reform and progress within the prison.

Crittindon v. Gusman


The MacArthur Justice Center has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two individuals, Jessie Crittindon and Leon Burse, who were held in custody for five months after their release dates had come and gone. The suit names officials with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO), the East Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office (ECPSO), and the Louisiana...

Copelin v. Gusman


This is the second lawsuit the MacArthur Justice Center brought against the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO), the East Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office (ECPSO), and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections for illegal over-detention. Three individuals, Eddie Copelin, Phillip Dominick III, and Donald Guidry, were detained for months after their release dates had come...

Pipkins v. Stewart

Abusive Policies

The MacArthur Justice Center filed a federal class action against the District Attorney's office of Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Caddo Parish prosecutors struck African-American citizens of Caddo Parish from jury service at five times the rate of jurors who were not African-American.

Jordan v. Hall

Death Penalty

The MacArthur Justice's civil rights lawsuit seeks an order to stop Mississippi from using a series of three drugs which raise a significant risk of torture in the course of executions. We contend that Mississippi’s refusal to join the majority of executing states in abandoning the three-drug protocol in favor of a single, overwhelming dose of a barbiturate is contrary to the Eighth Amendment.

Dotson v. McCartney

Death Penalty

The Louisiana State Police (LSP) provides foot patrols in the French Quarter through an agreement with the City of New Orleans.  But LSP does not consider itself bound by the terms of the consent decree in the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the New Orleans Police Department. The MacArthur Justice Center is litigating a...

Wearry v. Perrilloux

Abusive Policies

On behalf of Michael Wearry, we have sued Scott Perrilloux, District Attorney for Louisiana’s 21st Judicial District, and Marlon Kearney Foster, the former Chief of Detectives of the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office for fabricating an eyewitness account by an adolescent, coercing the 10-year old into adopting the false story, and using his testimony to convict...