Jessica Brand is a criminal justice expert with significant experience in policy and political communications. Previously, she served as the Legal Director at The Justice Collaborative, heading a team of attorneys, researchers, journalists, and media strategists that worked to reduce the harm caused by the deeply flawed criminal justice system. In that job, she advised elected officials across the country as they tried to proactively implement meaningful change, while leading communication strategies to roll out policies to safely shrink incarceration levels and supervision in their jurisdiction. She also led teams in responding to crisis situations, and worked with media to soften the groundwork for criminal justice reform.
Jessica previously worked at the Texas Defender Service in the capital trial project, where she consulted with trial teams in death penalty cases across the state of Texas and conducted state-wide trainings on understanding mental health and performing capital defense investigation. Prior to that, Jessica was a staff attorney in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also served as a member of the forensic practice group, and she continues to train lawyers across the country on litigating the admissibility of forensic evidence. Following law school, she clerked for Judge Michael McConnell on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Jessica has been published in Slate, CNN, and The Appeal, and been featured on NPR and CSPAN.
Jessica graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2007, and summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Defender Service and the University of Pennsylvania Platt House Performing Arts Alumni Council.
Mariam Hinds is an experienced criminal defense attorney and litigator. Prior to joining the Wren Collective, she served as a team leader and supervising attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice at The Bronx Defenders. In those roles, Mariam provided client-centered representation to indigent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses and supervised new attorneys in their first and second years of practice. She also oversaw a holistic, interdisciplinary team of attorneys, advocates, social workers, and investigators who practiced in criminal, family, immigration, and civil courts. As a public defender, Mariam has led trainings on criminal procedure, trial advocacy, bail applications, mitigation, and legal ethics. Following law school, Mariam served as a law clerk to the Honorable Cheryl L. Pollak of the Eastern District of New York.
Mariam has researched, published, and contributed to articles on solitary confinement and the unintended consequences of California’s Realignment legislation.
Mariam received her J.D. from Stanford Law School where she was the recipient of the Gerald Gunther Prize for outstanding performance in Constitutional Law: Fourteenth Amendment and the John H. Ely Prize for outstanding performance in Juvenile Justice and Social Policy. Mariam holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University where she graduated cum laude and with distinction in her major. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Kosha Tucker has extensive experience in civil rights and criminal justice litigation. Prior to joining the Wren Collective, Kosha was a Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Georgia, where she litigated federal civil rights cases on behalf of people directly impacted by the criminal legal system. While at the ACLU of Georgia, Kosha also worked in coalition with community partners on initiatives to end mass incarceration, eliminate racial disparities in the criminal legal system, and stop the criminalization of poverty.
Before the ACLU of Georgia, Kosha was an attorney at the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office where she provided client-centered representation to children and adults charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. As a public defender, Kosha was identified as an emerging leader in the career of indigent defense and served as a trainer and presenter with the Georgia Public Defender Council, the Southern Juvenile Defender Center, and the National Juvenile Defender Center's Juvenile Training Immersion Program. Kosha is a proud graduate of the Gideon's Promise program and is currently a member of the Indigent Defense Committee of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Kosha began her legal career as the Robin Nash Fellow at Emory’s Barton Child Law and Policy Center where she advised law students in the Center’s Policy and Appellate clinics and developed articles on child welfare and juvenile justice issues.
Kosha received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar, and her B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University, where she was a Benjamin N. Duke Merit Scholar.
Amy Weber has over fifteen years of experience in criminal justice litigation and advocacy work. Prior to joining the Wren Collective, Amy was a Senior Attorney at the Justice Collaborative, where she partnered with elected prosecutors to design and implement significant criminal justice reforms driven by data and research, while considering political feasibility, timing, and strategies for optimizing expansive change. Before her involvement in designing and supporting new criminal justice policies, Amy provided litigation assistance and constitutional briefing to attorneys handling capital, juvenile life-without-parole, and nonviolent life-without-parole cases across the country. Amy contributed to many significant victories, including the Delaware Supreme Court decision invalidating the State’s capital punishment law and a successful challenge to the first true juvenile life-without-parole sentence imposed in Florida following the State’s legislative response to Miller v. Alabama.
Prior to her work litigating these constitutional criminal issues, she spent nearly a decade as a trial, training, and appellate attorney at the public defender’s office in Miami, Florida, representing clients in all phases of Florida criminal proceedings. She made significant changes to the office’s felony training program that are still in effect today and regularly trained lawyers in the Miami community. Amy has also served as a law clerk for Judge Janet C. Hall of the District of Connecticut, a staff attorney in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, and an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office.
Amy obtained a B.A. from Cornell University in 1996 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 2002.
Ben Miller spent nearly a decade as an appellate public defender, first at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender and then with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Besides handling appeals and assisting trial attorneys, Ben provided trainings to other lawyers on legal writing and oral advocacy, properly preserving issues for appeal, and defending against the government’s use of so-called gang expert testimony.
Prior to joining the Wren Collective, Ben was a senior legal counsel at The Justice Collaborative, where he drafted policies and legislation aimed at ending mass incarceration on issues such as bail reform, fines and fees, abolishing the death penalty and life without parole, sentence review, and compassionate relief. He also co-authored reports to provide guidance to prosecutors seeking to develop sentence review units and on the experience of public defenders across the country at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ben has authored or co-authored op-eds that have appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, USA Today, Politico, and The Appeal. He also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law, and American University Washington College of Law.
In addition to his work with the Wren Collective, Ben continues to represent indigent clients appealing their convictions or seeking compassionate release from prison. He received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law.
Yen Mai has an extensive background in criminal trial practice at one of the busiest courthouses in our country, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in Miami. In her time as a public defender, Yen tried over a dozen jury trials to verdict and counseled hundreds of clients facing mandatory minimum sentences imposed under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines. Yen handled felony criminal cases from beginning to end and is acutely aware of the intricacies and obstacles inherent in our country’s criminal justice system.
Yen spent several years prior to her legal career working with the Refinery Leadership Partners, a Canadian-based change management firm. At the Refinery, Yen supported cutting edge leadership develop and cultural transformation programs through client management and business development.
Yen received her J.D. from Tulane University where she was a recipient of the Heckman International Law Scholarship and a Merit Scholar. While at Tulane, Yen founded the Women in Law Society. She also clerked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
In addition to her coursework and internships, Yen worked at a federal criminal law firm in New Orleans where she focused on creating immigration-safe defenses strategies for clients fighting concurrent federal criminal charges and deportation. She earned her B.A. from the University of Oregon.