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December 01, 2012

Project Hosts Death Penalty Panel

On September 12, 2012, the Project co-hosted an event with the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and the American Constitution Society at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The program, titled “The Death Penalty in America,” featured presentations by legislators, activists, volunteer lawyers and a representative from the Project. In the first panel presentation, State Senator Kwame Raoul (Illinois), State Senator Terry Gerratana (Connecticut), death row exoneree Nate Fields, and Shari Silberstein of Equal Justice USA discussed recent decisions to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and Connecticut and similar efforts in other states. The second panel focused on fairness and due process for death row prisoners.

Moderated by Project Director Robin M. Maher, the panelists included Michael Siem of Baker Botts, Marc Kadish of Mayer Brown, and death row exoneree Nate Fields. The panelists focused on the importance of effectiveness of counsel in death penalty trials and post-conviction proceedings and answered questions from students, faculty, and alumni in attendance. Nate Fields provided compelling details related to his wrongful incarceration and emphasized the need for lawyers to assist prisoners on death row.