James P. Gray is the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, Calif, of which he has been a member since 1989. Judge Gray earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1966, taught in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, and then earned a law degree from the University of Southern California in 1971. From 1972 through 1975, he practiced law with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General"s Corps in Guam and California, after which he served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney"s office in Los Angeles. As a federal prosecutor, he "witnessed the filling of our nation"s prisons with low-level drug offenders who are not particularly intelligent, organized or violent, leaving this unbelievably lucrative illicit drug market to people who are smart, organized and prone to a level of violence that makes Al Capone look like Arthur Murray." That experience led Gray to re-examine the "War on Drugs" and to seek better ways to reduce the harms of both drug abuse and drug policy. His 2001 book, "Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs," is widely regarded as one of the most thoroughgoing and thoughtful contributions to this effort.
Speaker William Martin
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political …
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political implications of religion, particularly fundamentalist religions and the importance of the separation of religion and government, or “church and state”; and 2) ways to reduce the harms associated with both drug abuse and drug policy. His articles, most of which deal with aspects of religion, have appeared in such publications as Texas Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His book “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story” is regarded as the authoritative biography of Billy Graham. An updated edition of his 1996 book “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America,” the companion volume to a six-hour documentary PBS miniseries of the same name, was reissued in June 2005 by Broadway Books. He is a frequent guest on national and local news and discussion programs. During his 44 years at Rice, Martin has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. Martin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.