January 01, 2012

Project Co-hosts Death Penalty Symposium at University of Minnesota School of Law

Emily M. Williams

On November 11, 2011, the Project, in partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Law Journal of Law and Inequality, hosted a symposium entitled “Perspectives on the Death Penalty: Comparative Solutions from the Classroom to the Courtroom.”  The day-long symposium brought together a number of experts including academics, defenders, judges, and volunteer attorneys. 

A series of panels and presentations followed the introduction by Project Director Robin Maher and a keynote address by Professor Jordan Steiker:

Race and the Death PenaltyJin Hee Lee, Assistant Counsel of the Criminal Justice Program, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Jury Instructions for the Finding of Mitigation: Mills v. Maryland and Smith v. SpisakJudith L. Ritter, Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic, Widener Law School, Co-Counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Experience: Changes over Time in Death Penalty Sentencing – Andrea D. Lyon, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Justice in Capital Cases, DePaul University College of Law

Civil Rights Trials for ExonereesCharles J. Lloyd, Livgard & Lloyd, PLLP, Peter Thompson, Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota Law School, retired Criminal Defense Lawyer (Moderator)

“How Volunteer Law Firm Lawyers Ensure Justice for Death Row Inmates”

•           Steve J. Wells, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP

•           Steve Z. Kaplan, Fredrikson & Byron, PA

•           The Honorable Jeffrey J. Keyes, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

•           Robin M. Maher, Moderator

“Eyewitness Identification Evidence and Reform”Nancy K. Steblay, Professor of Psychology, Augsburg College

“Reform & Abolition in Illinois”Robert Warden, Professor, Executive Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern University Law School

Over 60 law students, academics, and practitioners attended the day-long event.  More information, including video from the event, is available on the University of Minnesota’s web page at http://www.law.umn.edu/lawineq/symposiummain/november-2011.html.

Emily M. Williams

Staff Attorney