J. Owen Forrester

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J. Owen Forrester (April 27, 1939 — July 1, 2014) was a United States federal judge, a position he held from 1981 to 2004.

Education and early career[edit]

Born in Columbus, Georgia, Forrester received a B.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1961 and an LL.B. from Emory University School of Law in 1966.[1]

He was staff attorney for the Callaway for Governor Committee in Georgia from 1966 to 1967. He was in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia from 1967 to 1969, and was then an assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia until 1976.


Forrester served as a United States Magistrate for the Northern District of Georgia from 1976 to 1981. On November 24, 1981, he was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia vacated by Newell Edenfield. Forrester was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 9, 1981, and received his commission the following day. Forrester decided McCleskey v. Zant, 580 F. Supp. 338 (N.D. Ga. 1984), later reviewed sub nomine McCleskey v. Kemp by the Supreme Court, in which he found David C. Baldus' study on racial disparities and the death penalty to be methodologically flawed. He assumed senior status on April 27, 2004. Forrester died on July 1, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Newell Edenfield
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
Succeeded by
William S. Duffey Jr.