Past Honorees

1996 Awards Dinner:

1996 Abolition Award: Rubin “Hurricane” Carter
1996 Abolition Award: Kiefer Sutherland
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Gov. Mario Cuomo (Inaugural)

1997 Awards Dinner:

The Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award: Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird
1997 Abolition Award: Sean Penn
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

1998 Awards Dinner:

1998 Abolition Award: Senator John Burton
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Larry Fox (on behalf of the American Bar Association)
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Steven Allen
The Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award: Bud Welch

1999 Awards Dinner:

The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: David Protess and Lawrence Marshall
The Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award: Linda and Peter Biehl
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Norman Jewison

2000 Awards Dinner:

2000 Abolition Award: Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
The Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award: Rabbi Leonard Beerman
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Senator Russ Feingold
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: David E. Kelley and Robert Breech and the Cast of The Practice

2001 Awards Dinner:

The Aline and Norman Felton Humanitarian Award: Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation
2001 Abolition Award: Cardinal Roger M. Mahony
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Gov. George H. Ryan
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and the Cast of The West Wing

2002 Awards Dinner:

The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Rev. James Lawson
Justice and Media Award: Studs Terkel
The Mario Cuomo Act of Courage Award: Congresswomen Barbara Lee
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Stanley Sheinbaum
2002 Abolition Award: Danny Glover

2003 Awards Dinner:

The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Patch Adams
Justice in Media and Arts Award: Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
2003 Abolition Award: Ramona Ripston
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Gov. George H. Ryan

2004 Awards Dinner:

The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Aqeela Sherrills
Justice in Media and Arts Award: Robert Wise
2004 Abolition Award: Bishop Gabino Zavala
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Harry Belafonte
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: First Lady Rosalynn Carter

2005 Awards Dinner:

The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Bishop Henry Williamson
Justice in Media and Arts Award: Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek
2005 Abolition Award: Senator Edward Kennedy
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Sister Helen Prejean
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Andy and Deborah Rappaport

2006 Awards Dinner:

2006 Abolition Award: Barry Scheck
Justice in Media and the Arts Award: Carl Reiner
The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Rev. George Regas
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Dorothy Ehrlich
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award:Vicki Riskin and David W. Rintels
Lifetime Achievement Award: Assemblyman Mervyn M. Dymally
Special Award to Activist Exonerees: Gloria Killian, Tom Goldstein and Greg Wilhoit
The Mike Farrell Human Rights Award: Mike Farrell (Inaugural)

2007 Awards Dinner:

The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Robert Greenwald
The Mike Farrell Human Rights Award: Senator George McGovern
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Max Palevsky and Jodie Evans
Justice in the Arts: David E. Kelley
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage: Kamala D. Harris
2007 Abolition Award: Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton

2008 Awards Dinner:

The Mike Farrell Human Rights Award: Sid Sheinberg
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage: Julian Bond
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Sarah Timberman and Ed Redlich
Justice in the Arts: John Grisham
Special Recognition for Outstanding Achievement on behalf of Social Justice: Melody Ermachild, Henry Weinstein, and Dr. Arthur Zitrin
The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Azim Khamisa
2008 Abolition Award: New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

2009 Awards Dinner:

The Mike Farrell Human Rights Award: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Jeanne Woodford
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: John Van de Kamp
Justice in the Arts Award: Nancy Miller
The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Bryan Stevenson
2009 Abolition Award: Nick McKeown

2010 Awards Dinner:

Justice in the Arts Award: Alec Baldwin
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Paul Haggis
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Sherry & Leo Frumkin
The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ
2010 Abolition Award: Richard Dieter

2011 Awards Dinner:

Justice in the Arts Award: Hilary Swank
The Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: Lance Lindsey
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Thomas Schlamme
The Norman Felton and Denise Aubuchon Humanitarian Award: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
Abolition Award: Death Penalty Clinic at University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Elisabeth Semel & Ty Alper)
Human Rights Award: Stephen Bright
Courageous Leadership Award: The Honorable Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois

2012 Awards Dinner:

Justice in the Arts Award: MC Hammer
The Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Denise Foderaro Quattrone
The Norman Felton and Denise Abuchon Humanitarian Award: Father Gregory Boyle
The 2012 Abolition Award: The West Memphis 3: Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley
The 2012 Abolition Award: The West Memphis 3 Defense Team: Patrick Benca, Stephen Braga, Michael Burt, Blake Hendrix, Donald Horgan, John Phillipsborn, Dennis Riordan, Jeff Rosenzweig, Deborah Sallings, Lonnie Soury and Lorri Davis, leader of the movement to free the West Memphis 3

2013 Awards Dinner:

Human Rights Award: Norman Felton (posthumously)
The Norman Felton and Denise Abuchon Humanitarian Award: Javier Stauring
The 2013 Abolition Award: Proposition 34 Leaders, represented by: Natasha Minsker, Obie Anthony, Arnold & Porter, LLP/ Steven L. Mayer, Ron Briggs, California Catholic Conference, Franky Carrillo, Gil Garcetti, Miriam Gerace, Donald Heller, Paula Mitchell, SEIU Local 721, Steve Smith, Bethany Webb
Justice in the Arts Award: James Cromwell

2014 Awards Dinner:

Mario Cuomo Acts of Courage Award: The Honorable Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland
Human Rights Award: Juan E. Mendez, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture
Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Millman, Executive Director of the California Appellate Project
Justice in the Arts Award: Peter Sarsgaard and Veena Sud, on behalf of The Cast and Crew of “The Killing”

2015 Awards Dinner:

Justice in the Media Award: Alex Gibney, Bred Hebert, Laura Michalchyshyn on behalf of Death Row Stories
Abolition Award: Dale Baich, Assistant Federal Public Defender
Lifetime Achievement Award: Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Rose Elizabeth Bird Commitment to Justice Award: Death row exonerees Kwame Ajamu, Wiley Bridgeman, and Ricky Jackson along with their attorneys Terry Gilbert, Mark Godsey, Brian Howe and David Mills. 

2016 Awards Dinner:

Abolition Award: Sir Richard Branson
Norman Felton and Denise Abuchon Humanitarian Award: Dolores Huerta
Justice in the Arts and Media: Jackson Browne