Morris Davis

Attorney in Washington, D.C.

Morris Davis is an attorney in Washington, D.C. He teaches at the Howard University School of Law and his is a 2013 winner of a Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award.

He served as a judge advocate in the United States Air Force from October 1983 until he retired as a Colonel in October 2008. From September 2005 until October 2007, he was the Chief Prosecutor for the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He led a multi-agency prosecution task force of more than 100 personnel from the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal agencies. For nearly two years he was one of the leading advocates for military commissions and the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. He resigned as chief prosecutor in October 2007 because of his objection to the use of evidence obtained by torture and growing political interference in the military commissions, and he became a critic of the process he once defended. His final assignment before retiring from the military was as director of the Air Force Judiciary where he oversaw the Air Force criminal justice system and supervised nearly 265 people at sites worldwide. He was a senior specialist in national security and head of the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division at the Congressional Research Service from December 2008 to December 2009, and a Senior Advisor to the Director from December 2009 to January 2010. He was executive director of the Crimes of War Education Project from August 2010 until February 2012.

Morris Davis earned a BS in criminal justice from Appalachian State University, a JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law, a LLM in government procurement law from George Washington University School of Law, and a LLM in military law from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General School. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

He was included in the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington report, Those Who Dared: 30 Officials Who Stood Up for Our County, in July 2008 and he received the Justice Charles E. Whittaker Award presented by the Lawyers Association of Kansas City in November 2009.

He has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times as well as scholarly articles published by Yale, Case Western, and Northwestern universities. He has appeared on NPR, CNN, the BBC, ABC, NBC, and Fox News, among other media outlets, and he is a frequent speaker at conferences and educational events.