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April 12, 2004

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications, (512) 471.7330
Event Contact: Patrick Timmons, Conference Organizer, Department of History, 512-627-2019

International Symposium: The Death Penalty and Mexico-U.S. Relations, April 14

An exhibit, "La Última Pena: Five Centuries of Capital Punishment in Mexico," accompanies the symposium

WHAT: Binational Symposium on Capital Punishment in Mexican History
WHEN: Wednesday, April 14, 2004
WHERE: Exhibit and Opening Symposium Session at the Benson Rare Books Reading Room, LLILAS, 9 - 10:45 a.m.;
Symposium Sessions continue at the Jeffers Courtroom, School of Law, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law, Mexican Center of LLILAS, and the College of Liberal Arts will present "The Death Penalty and Mexico-U.S. Relations: Historical Continuities and Present Dilemmas" on Wednesday, April 14. The symposium is free and open to the public and will analyze how the death penalty has affected Mexican history, its constitution and the bilateral relationship between Texas and Mexico.

The opening session of the symposium will be held in the Benson Rare Books Reading Room in the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) from 9 a.m to 10:45 a.m., where an exhibit on capital punishment in Mexican history also opens for the summer. The Rare Books Reading Room is located in the Benson Latin American Collection at Sid Richardson Hall 1.101. The symposium will continue the Jeffers Courtroom, Room 3.140, in the School of Law from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For parking at or directions to the Law School go to

Scholars, public officials and lawyers from Mexico, the United States and Great Britain will participate in the one-day symposium. The keynote address will be delivered by Mexico’s former attorney general, Sergio Garcia Ramirez, who now serves as a leading judge at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the judicial branch of the Organization of American States. Sandra Babcock, the director of the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program and lead attorney for the 51 Mexican nationals on U.S. death rows will speak at the afternoon symposium session from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 pm.

Program participants from the School of Law include professors Sarah Cleveland, Manuel Gonzalez Oropeza (visiting from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Rob Owen, and Jordan Steiker.

The symposium is sponsored by The Mexican Center of LLILAS; Dean of Graduate Studies; Texas Cowboys Lectureship; Benson Latin American Collection; and Dean of the School of Law.

To read the Mexican Center’s information on the symposium go to (PDF)

For further information contact Patrick Timmons, Department of History, at, or (512) 627 2019, and Peter Ward, Director of the Mexican Center, UT Austin, at, or (512) 232-2423.