California Judge To Discuss Failure Of U.S. War On Drugs At Rice University
James P. Gray, presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, Calif., will appear Oct. 27 at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to discuss reforms necessary to improve current U.S. drug policy.
The free public lecture, titled “Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs,” begins at 6 p.m.in Baker Hall’s Kelly International Conference Facility on the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St.
Gray was appointed to the Santa Ana Municipal Court in 1983, where he was active in trying to combat drunken driving and other alcohol-related offenses, earning a commendation from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for these efforts in 1990. He was elevated to the Orange County Superior Court in July 1989. In this role, he has twice been named judge of the year, once by the Orange County Bar Association and once by the Orange County Constitutional Rights Foundation.
Gray was raised in the Los Angeles area. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of California-Los Angeles in 1966 and his law degree from the University of Southern California in 1971. Gray also served with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, where he taught physical education, recreation and health from 1966 to 1968.
From 1972 until 1975, Gray was a staff judge advocate and criminal defense attorney for the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Guam and California.
Gray was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where he eventually headed a unit that prosecuted various frauds against the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration and other governmental agencies.
He is the author of “Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs” and “Wearing the Robe: The Art and Responsibilities of Judging in Today’s Courts.”