Skip to main content

USD Law Alumnus to Lead North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission

VERMILLION, S.D. – Charlie Brown, a 1992 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, has been appointed by the Supreme Court of North Carolina as the new chairman of the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission.

“I am honored to be appointed as chair of the Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission and look forward to continuing the balanced and thoughtful approach that Judge Spainhour brought as chair,” said Judge Brown.

Brown, a chief district judge in Rowan County, North Carolina, is a past president of the Conference of Chief District Court Judges. He was elected to the district court bench in North Carolina District 19C in 1998 and appointed chief district court judge in 2001. He has more than 25 years of experience in the North Carolina court system, having served as a private attorney, Department of Social Services attorney, and assistant district attorney, in addition to chief district court judge. Brown will continue his regular duties as chief district court judge in addition to his appointed position to the Commission.

Brown was first appointed to the Commission in 2008 and was reappointed four times to represent the Conference of District Court Judges. He has served on seven of the Commission’s subcommittees, including leading the Justice Reinvestment Act Subcommittee since 2011. He also represented the Commission on the Youth Accountability Task Force, created by the North Carolina General Assembly to design a plan to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction.

Brown lives in Salisbury, North Carolina, with his wife, Emily Ford, who received a bachelor’s degree from USD in 1992, and their three children.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News