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August 19, 2020 Death Penalty Virtual CLE Series

Valuing Speed: The Costs in Fairness, Accuracy & Money in Trying to Accelerate Executions

Please note that the ABA will seek 1.5 hours of CLE credit in 60 minute states and 1.8 hours of CLE credit in 50 minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state's approval and credit rounding rules. Please visit the MCLE website for general information on CLE at the ABA. This CLE is available on-demand for free.

Long before COVID-19 ravaged the nation, the use of the death penalty has been on a downward trend for quite some time. This year, the use of the death penalty has reached a new low as governments faces practical challenges of COVID. In this webinar, our panelists will discuss how execution holds initially across the country and the widespread economic downturn in the United States have negatively impacted the use of the death penalty. Our panelists will also explore how the pandemic has affected capital litigation by threatening due process specifically at trial, in post-conviction, and in execution-date clemency proceedings, inhibiting the development of mitigation cases when attorneys and their aides and experts cannot work normally. Our panelists will unpack the controversy surrounding execution drug shortages. Ohio’s implementing a de facto moratorium on executions in light of the pandemic will be examined, and considered in the context of the state’s failure to implement the recommendations of an ABA assessment team and a commission created by the state government. In a further exploration of the many ways in which the death penalty system violates due process, a panelist will discuss a recent analysis of jury‘s roles in creating racist results.

Watch the on-demand CLE webinar >>


  • Jeff Fagan, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
  • Margery M. Koosed, Aileen McMurray Trusler Professor Emerita, The University of Akron School of Law
  • Steve Potolsky, Resource Counsel, Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel


Joint Sponsor: ABA Death Penalty Due Process Review Project