Former chairman of Utah Board of Pardons and Parole and Utah’s first black cabinet member

Keith N. Hamilton, 2012 Alumni Achievement Award winner, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Law School (JD '86) 
South Jordan, Utah 

Favorite BYU class: Criminal law with Woodruff J. Deem, which Hamilton says was also one of the most intimidating classes. Deem would often call on a student to stand and would then grill the student for the whole class period.

Worst BYU grade: Securities law. "I couldn't even read that stuff."

Professional rewards: "Seeing people change. The cynics don't believe people can change; I know they can."

Secret skill: "Waffles. I'm a talented waffle maker. My kids love my breakfasts. I do everything very, very well except the eggs—I leave my wife to cook the eggs."

Hobby: Coaching youth baseball and football. "I just like helping the kids become their best."

Speaker notes: "The worth of a soul is great in the eyes of the Lord, and America's current practice of retributive justice and its exorbitant rates of incarceration are throwing away too many of those lives precious in the sight of God. Many of those being damaged most are not the perpetrators themselves whom our system seeks to punish but innocents such as the children and loved ones of the offenders."

Full Name: 
Keith N. Hamilton
Grad Year: 
JD 1986
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