Baylor Law School congratulates Brit Featherston, JD '92, who took the oath of office to become the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas on November 16, 2021
On Tuesday, November 16, Baylor Lawyer Brit Featherston (JD '92) was sworn in as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Featherston was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and took the oath of office from fellow Baylor Lawyer, Chief District Judge Rodney Gilstrap (JD '81). Featherston was accompanied at his swearing-in ceremony by his brother, Professor of Law Tom Featherston (JD '72), and by former United States Attorney and Adjunct Professor Malcolm Bales, each of the Baylor Law School Faculty.
"Brit is a shining example of leadership and service," stated the Dean of Baylor Law, Brad Toben. "He has had a distinguished career in prosecution, leadership, and national service. Brit is a top-notch lawyer and a true quality person. The U.S. Attorney's Office could not be in better hands," he added.
Featherston's career in law enforcement began in 1981 in the Port Arthur police department. After serving the people of Port Arthur for many years, he followed his brother Tom's footsteps to law school, enrolling at Baylor Law and graduating in 1992.
Following law school, Featherston did a brief stint in private law practice, before returning to the law enforcement. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas in 1996 where he has held positions as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, supervisory U.S. Attorney, and Acting United States Attorney. Featherston also has held roles as the National Crisis Management Coordinator for all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Justice Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
While working for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Featherston and two other federal prosecutors were assigned to prosecute the infamous James Byrd Jr. case. The case revolved around three white supremacists who dragged Byrd, an African American, behind a pick-up truck for several miles as Byrd died a gruesome death. The tragic case was covered by the national media, and the entire nation watched in shock and horror as the details of the case emerged in trial. Of the three charged, two received the death penalty and the third a life sentence. As a result of the Byrd case, Texas passed hate crime legislation that expanded upon the 1969 federal hate crime law. The resulting legislation has been widely adopted and is still in force. Featherston was also instrumental in the establishment of a command post in Lufkin and the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to the re-entry disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003 over East Texas.
Featherston is now the chief federal law enforcement official in the Eastern District of Texas and will oversee six law enforcement offices across the district including 60 prosecutors and 120 employees.
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