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Civil Rights Hero Lynn Walker Huntley Dies
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civil rights lawyer dies

Summary: Powerful civil rights lawyer Lynn Walker Huntley dies.

Lynn Walker Huntley, a superstar lawyer who has fronted many causes relating to civil rights cases, has died, as of Aug 30, at the age of 69. Her husband, Walter Huntley, reports she died of cervical cancer.


“We must continue to struggle against racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, not only because it is the right thing to do, although it is,” said Ms. Huntley early in her tenure at the Southern Education Foundation, “We must continue to struggle because to give in and give up is to ensure that all is lost and to betray what we stand for.”

And that she did not. She struggled avidly and managed to land the spot of a series of firsts. She was the fist female president of the Southern Education Foundation, from 1995 to 2002, and during that time doubled its endowment, raising over $44 million. She was the first black woman to become editor of the Columbia Law Review, earlier on in her career. In 1966 she became the first black woman to hold a federal judgeship.

She was part of a group that managed to scrap the death penalty – albeit only for a time – in the United State. In a 5-to4 decision in Furman v. Georgia, the death penalty was ruled too random and arbitrary to muster constitutional support. Only later were death penalty laws reconfigured to as to be constitutional.

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Huntley also worked as an official for the Department of Justice, general counsel to the New York Commission on Human rights, and given her legal expertise to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, among various other accomplishments in her illustrious and powerful career.

News Source: The New York Times

Huntley is survived by her husband and step daughter, Tyeise Huntley Jones, and her brother Rodney Jones.




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