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September 28, 2007

Professors Rob Owen and Jordan Steiker discuss capital punishment issues and the U.S. Supreme Court, Oct. 1

Death penalty experts Rob Owen and Jordan Steiker, law professors at The University of Texas at Austin, will host a “First Monday Discussion” on capital punishment issues and the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Oct. 1, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Law School’s Eidman Courtroom.

The event, sponsored by the Capital Punishment Center, is open to the public and a reception will follow. Professors Owen and Steiker co-direct the Capital Punishment Center which includes the Capital Punishment Clinic at UT Law.

“First Monday” is held annually at law schools across the country on the first Monday in October to commemorate the opening day of the new Supreme Court term.

Owen and Steiker will discuss capital punishment issues in the Supreme Court in both the last term and the coming term. In the last term, Owen and Steiker and the Capital Punishment Clinic had three victories at the Supreme Court, leading to the reversal of Texas death sentences.

The three inmates, Laroyce Smith, Brent Brewer, and Jalil Abdul-Kabir, had all challenged their convictions on the ground that the sentencing instructions given at their trials failed to permit meaningful consideration of their mitigating evidence.

Owen and Steiker represented the inmates with the assistance of numerous students enrolled in the Law School’s death penalty clinic. Law professors Maurie Levin and Jim Marcus of the clinic assisted on the cases, supervising students in research projects and coordinating the voluminous filings to the Court.

With these three decisions, the Capital Punishment Clinic has won five consecutive victories in the Supreme Court over the past three years.

Related Links:

Professor Rob Owen:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/owenrc/

Professor Jordan Steiker:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/jsteiker/

Capital Punishment Clinic:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/clinics/capital/

School of Law Capital Punishment Clinic Wins Three Cases at the U.S. Supreme Court:
http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2007/042507_clinic.html

Press contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or kfortune@law.utexas.edu.