John F. Terzano
Adjunct Professor of Law
B.A., George Washington University; J.D., UDC David A. Clarke School of Law; LL.M., American University Washington College of Law.
John Terzano is President and co-founder of The Justice Project. He has been involved in social justice advocacy for thirty years. Terzano led a five-year campaign to pass the Innocence Protection Act (IPA), the first piece of federal death penalty reform legislation to pass Congress and be signed into law. The IPA allows for DNA testing of individuals who may have been wrongfully convicted and authorizes funding to states to clear their DNA backlogs and improve forensic laboratory capacity and standards across the nation as well as provide assistance to states to improve the quality of legal representation for indigent defendants in State capital cases among other reforms. As president of The Justice Project, John is instrumental in working to reform the criminal justice system through public education, litigation support and legislative reform efforts.
Terzano is also Vice President and co-founder of Veterans for America (formerly known as Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation - VVAF), an advocacy and humanitarian organization that is uniting a new generation of veterans with those from past wars to address the causes, conduct and consequences of war. VVAF’s work on the international campaign to ban landmines was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Terzano served two tours in Vietnam while in the Navy from 1970-74 and helped to lead the first delegation of American veterans to return to Vietnam after the war ended. Terzano became a leading advocate of reconciliation with America’s former enemies in Vietnam, an experience that ultimately helped lift the economic embargo by the U.S. and normalize relations between the U.S and Vietnam.
Terzano received his undergraduate degree in public affairs from the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University; graduated magna cum laude from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL); and received a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in International Legal Studies from American University's Washington College of Law. Terzano is an Adjunct Professor of Law at UDC-DCSL, is a former Vice Chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities Criminal Justice Committee and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Center for Human Rights and Friends of the Law Library of Congress.