Capital Punishment Center To Host Conference on Legislative Developments on the Death Penalty

April 7, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas School of Law's Capital Punishment Center will host a conference on legislative developments concerning the American death penalty on April 9-10. The event is free and open to the public.

"The American Death Penalty in the Twenty-first Century: the Direction of Legislative Change and the Prospects for Legislative Abolition" will bring together lawyers and lawmakers from around the country to talk about efforts to abolish the death penalty (New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Colorado, Kansas) as well as efforts to expand it (Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Hampshire) and reform it (North Carolina, Maryland, California). 

The conference will be held in the Law School's Eidman Courtroom, beginning at 10:15 a.m. on Friday, April 9 and at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 10. The entire program can be viewed in a news item posted on the Law School's news Web site: www.utexas.edu/law/news/2010/040110_cpc_conference.html   

State legislatures have been reevaluating the emotionally and politically charged issue of capital punishment. While national public opinion polls show broad support for the death penalty in the abstract, states like New Mexico and New Jersey have abolished capital punishment within the last three years, and other states have seen similar proposals closely contested and only narrowly defeated.

These new legislative battles over the death penalty reflect longstanding concerns: the financial cost of death penalty trials and appeals, the ever-present risk of wrongful conviction, the enduring stain of racial discrimination and more. 

The symposium will explore this newly active legislative foment around capital punishment, closely examining the experience in particular states to see whether any broader lessons may be drawn with respect to the future of state legislative efforts to abolish, limit and reform the death penalty.

Information regarding directions and parking can be found on the Law School's Web site.

For more information, contact: Laura Castro, director of media relations, School of Law, 512-825-9525 (cell); Kirston Fortune, School of Law Communications, 512-471-7330.

1 Comment to "Capital Punishment Center To Host Conference on Legislative Developments on the Death Penalty"

1.  Steve Cargill said on April 8, 2010

Death Penalty:

I think such a conference is fine, to examine the current developments of the death-penalty. Obviously, many states have, and are, taking differing legislative action against the death penalty. HOWEVER..TEXAS..stands like an unmovable stone in comparison to other states. more convicts are executed in this state than any other state. WE MUST CONCENTRATE upon having TEXAS joining the majority of states to reduce the death-penalty to LIFE-IMPRISONMENT, for those truly "guilty". The greatest danger, as in HANK SKINNER's case (like Tim Coleman's) is that the state is prepared to "execute" an "innocent" man REGARDLESS of known evidence to produce his innonence (i.e DNA). The danger of every justice system all over the world is that a person can "fall between the cracks" in the legal system and they're never missed in the name of "justice done" JUSTICE, in many cases such as TEXAS, is nothing more than a "factory-processing unit" which shunts-out 'death-row' inmates.

WHY even have a US Constitution when states take no notice of it? I am alarmed that the President of the United States cannot question "state" decisions. I'm also alarmed that "state decisions" are just that, STATE. All states need to be accountable to FEDERAL LAW, as the "national law" of the United States. This includes every provision of the US Constitution that applies to EVERY US CITIZEN, on US soil. How can US laws (state & Federal differ so much)? ALL state laws and decisions MUST ALWAYS BE SUBJECT TO A "HIGHER POWER" i.e the US SUPREME COURT.

Steve...New Zealand