Mr. Jones was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001 and currently serves as the Vice President of the National Association of Former U. S. Attorneys. While in office, he served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Sub-Committee on Health Care Fraud, White Collar Crime and Ethics. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Alabama and a 1979 graduate of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Following law school, he served as Staff Counsel to U.S. Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL), on the Senate Judiciary Committee (1979-1980). He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1980 to 1984 before entering private practice until his appointment as U. S. Attorney.
In January 1998, just 5 months after taking office, Mr. Jones received national attention as a U.S. Attorney when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham women’s health clinic, killing a police officer and seriously wounding a nurse. Cast into a nationwide media spotlight, he coordinated the investigative task force that consisted of the FBI, ATF and the Birmingham Police Department that led to the indictment of Eric Robert Rudolph. Rudolph was also determined responsible for three bombings in the Atlanta, Georgia area including the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing and was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list of fugitives until his capture on May 31, 2003. In 2005, Rudolph pleaded guilty to all bombings and is serving life in prison without parole.
Mr. Jones was again the focus of international media attention as the federal prosecutor in the successful prosecution of the historic “cold case” involving the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in which two former Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted almost forty years after the crime was committed. Four young African-American girls were killed during a Sunday morning church service in the most heinous act of the Civil Rights Movement. As a result of the efforts of Mr. Jones and his team of investigators and prosecutors two men, Tommy Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry, were convicted of murder in those cases and each sentenced to life in prison. He has been honored for his work by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the SCLC/Women, Inc. and the Community Affairs Committee of Operation New Birmingham among many others. In June, 2007, he testified before the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives about the importance of re-examining crimes of the Civil Rights Era. Later that fall, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) awarded Mr. Jones the 15th Anniversary Civil Rights Distinguished Service Award. More recently he was recognized for his work in championing the cause of diversity in the Birmingham community by being named as one of 15 “Fusion Award” winners by B-Metro Magazine.
He is a regular presenter across the country at civil rights history workshops, civic organizations and continuing legal education conferences sponsored by groups such as the American Bar Association, International Society of Barristers, American Association for Justice, Harvard Law School, Cumberland School of Law at Samford, The University of Alabama School of Law, New York University School of Law, the San Antonio Bar Association, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference, the Alabama Bar Association, numerous Inns of Court chapters and the International Association of Human Rights Organizations.
He has been profiled or appeared in a variety of national publications, including Time Magazine, NewsWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The National Law Journal and The American Lawyer. He has regularly appeared on national media programs including 60 Minutes, Court TV, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The CBS Morning Show, CNN, National Public Radio and FOX and was featured in the Tom Brokaw documentary Boomers as well as the acclaimed documentary Our Mockingbird which chronicled the story of two Alabama high schools, one white and one black, as they collaborated on a stage performance of To Kill a Mockingbird.
He currently serves on the BCRI Board of Directors where he serves as the First Vice President. In 2014/14 he co-chaired the BCRI Presidential Search Committee. He is a member of the Public and Private Leadership Advisory Group of the Birmingham Business Alliance and was a member of the 1998/99 Leadership Birmingham class. In 2014 he co-chaired a blue ribbon panel of current and former federal prosecutors for the Brennan Center for Justice that produced a white paper entitled “Federal Prosecution for the 21st Century.” In 2015 Mr. Jones was a founding member of “Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration” calling for significant reform of the nation’s criminal justice system.
As a founding member of the Birmingham, Alabama, law firm of Jones & Hawley, PC, Mr. Jones’ practice concentrates on complex civil actions, False Claims Act investigations and litigation, securities litigation, environmental and white collar criminal litigation. Since 2004, he has been serving as the court-appointed General Special Master in Tolbert, et al v. Monsanto and Pharmacia Corp. (USDC Civil Action No. 2:01-cv-1407-UWC) an environmental clean-up action involving PCB’s in the Anniston, Alabama area. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Alabama Bar Association, The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the Alabama Association for Justice.
Mr. Jones is married to Louise New Jones and has three children and two grandchildren.