John Raphling is a senior researcher on criminal justice for the US program. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, he spent twenty years as a trial lawyer, representing people accused of crimes in criminal courts and victims of police violence and other government misconduct in civil courts.
Mr. Raphling spent ten years as a Deputy Public Defender in Los Angeles, representing hundreds of poor people accused of a variety of crimes. As a private attorney, Mr. Raphling represented political and community activists who were targeted for prosecution because of their activism. He also represented homeless people prosecuted for crimes related to their status. In 2014, Mr. Raphling founded and supervised a free legal clinic for homeless people facing these types of charges. Before becoming an attorney, he worked as a community organizer.
Mr. Raphling is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School.