David Lewis is the first African American to serve on the Criminal Court of Appeals in Oklahoma. Born to Sylvia Lewis on April 30, 1958, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, he graduated from Ardmore High School in 1976. He got a bachelor’s degree in business economics at the University of Oklahoma in 1980. In May 1983, he graduated from University of Oklahoma Law school.
After law school, Lewis moved to Lawton, Oklahoma. He was in private practice from 1984 to 1987. He then worked as an Assistant District Attorney at the Comanche County Courthouse from 1887 to 1991. In 1991, he worked as a special district judge for Comanche County. On April 2, 1999, Lewis was appointed to serve as District Judge of Comanche, Stephens, Cotton, and Jefferson County. In 2002, Lewis served as the Chief Judge of Comanche County.
On January 23, 2013, Judge Lewis made history becoming the first African American to serve as presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Lewis also holds the distinction of being the first African American Vice Presiding Judge on this panel. Lewis had previously made history as the first African American judge on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals which he was initially appointed to the Court on August 5, 2005, by Governor Brad Henry. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is the highest court with appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases in the state of Oklahoma. It equals in rank the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Judge Lewis has been recognized for his work in the legal community and the public with many awards and other forms of public recognition. In 2004, he served as the president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference. He serves on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Lawton, the Lawton Chamber of Commerce, and the Black Achievers Program. He is also Chairman on the Board of Reach Out and Read Oklahoma. Lewis also participated with the Oklahoma Justice Commission, the Oklahoma Bar Association Professionalism Committee, and Oklahoma Bar Association National Mock Trial Task Force. In 2008, he was also chosen to be a fellow for the Henry Toll Fellowship Program of the Council of State Governments. This program emphasizes leadership development for state government officials across the United States.
Judge Lewis is married to Sharon Lewis, and they have two children.