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

Volume V Issue 1


Staff Attorney

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