Because of his expertise, Ogletree has been called on for commentary on important topics of racial justice and the law, ranging from the O.J. Simpson trial in the 90s to Stand Your Ground laws and the murder of Trayvon Martin. He has also weighed in on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri this summer following the killing of the unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown.
In addition to being a frequent contributor in public conversations about race and justice, Professor Ogletree is the author of a number of books on similar topics. Much of his work is focused on the American criminal justice system, and he has written extensively on the death penalty, police brutality in minority communities, and inequalities in the application of the law to African Americans. His books include Life without Parole: America's New Death Penalty? (2012), When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice (2009) and From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State: Race and the Death Penalty in America (2006).
At Harvard, Professor Ogletree founded the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice in 2005, where he serves as Executive Director. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.