MiAngel Cody picks locks to prison cages. She is nationally recognized for her dedicated defense of men and women sentenced to life in federal prison. MiAngel has defended hundreds of people in federal court and won freedom for 40 life-sentenced prisoners. Her victories include 6 successful commutations from the President of the United States. MiAngel has been described as a national “Powerhouse Litigator.” During her historic #90DaysOfFreedom Campaign, in three short months, MiAngel and her team won freedom for 17 federal prisoners unfairly sentenced to life without parole for drugs.
Before launching her own criminal defense firm, MiAngel worked as a corporate litigator and Chicago Federal Defender. Prior to becoming a lawyer, MiAngel was a death penalty investigator who spent seven years listening to death row prisoners in Louisiana and Georgia.
MiAngel began her legal career as a law clerk to Federal Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She then clerked for Federal Appeals Judge Ann Williams (Ret.) of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
United States Supreme Court
United States Courts of Appeals: First, Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh Circuits
United States District Courts: N.D. Illinois; C.D. Illinois; N.D. Indiana; E.D. Missouri; E.D. Michigan; E.D. Wisconsin; W.D. Wisconsin; Dist. of Columbia
MiAngel is a 2014 recipient of the Federal Bar Association’s National Younger Federal Lawyer of the Year Award. In 2018, MiAngel received the prestigious Soros Justice Advocacy Fellowship. In 2019, the American Constitution Society named her a “Legal Legend”. In 2020, she received the Ida B. Wells Achievement Award from the Chicago Black Women Lawyers Association. Essence Magazine has named MiAngel a “Top 100 Woke Change Agent in America.”
"The Sixth Amendment demands the highest caliber of lawyering, especially when a person's life or liberty is at stake."
As a writer and producer, MiAngel curates stories that expose the trauma and survivorship of those trapped in America’s criminal courts. MiAngel has seen incarcerated fathers and mothers kiss children goodbye. She’s watched judges lament that mandatory sentencing laws left them hamstrung with no discretion. She’s seen people leave prison with no ID card, no home, no medicine, no methadone, no health insurance, no bus card, no education & no job prospects. She has stood with many people as they were sent into cages. And she’s received desperate calls when those same people returned from prison with nothing. Ultimately, she’s witnessed a system dehumanize humans and, in doing so, become dehumanized itself.
MiAngel has produced a number of viral justice campaigns with high-profile celebrities, advocates, and stakeholders with a digital reach of over 140 million user impressions. She produced The Third Strike Campaign, the first online digital storytelling platform for life-sentenced drug offenders in America. MiAngel’s digital work creates an immersive storytelling experience that reveals prison’s claustrophobic & dehumanizing effect on people serving life sentences for drugs. The Third Strike Campaign received widespread industry acclaim, culminating in two Webby Awards for Best Internet Homepage of 2020 and Best Activism Website of 2020.
MiAngel is a frequent television and radio commentator who offers incisive insights on justice, courtroom litigation and constitutional law. Her media motto is:
“Always serve the truth, but always serve it with the sauce.”