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Panel to Analyze the Role of Capital Punishment


Robert Blecker and Sarah Turberville
Robert Blecker and Sarah Turberville

Hamilton will host a panel discussion, “Perspectives on Capital Punishment: A Discussion of the Death Penalty,” on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4:15 p.m., in the Bradford Auditorium, KJ. The panel discussion will feature two experts in the field, law school professor Robert Blecker and The Constitution Project counsel Sarah Turberville, who offer differing perspectives on the controversial issue. The discussion, which will be moderated by Maynard-Knox Professor of Government and Law Frank Anechiarico, is free and open to the public.

Blecker, professor of law at New York Law School, is a nationally known retributivist advocate of the death penalty in the American criminal system. He spent his academic career at Tufts University and later Harvard Law School fighting the prevailing academic assumptions of the immorality of capital punishment and was later a Harvard Fellow in Law and Humanities. Although Blecker has spent over 13 years interviewing convicted killers and members of death row, his careful and thorough research is largely rejected in the academic community due to its extremity. Nevertheless, Blecker has served as the keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on the death penalty and is a highly respected professor of criminal law and constitutional history. Currently, Blecker is developing a documentary chronicling the lives of death row inmates.

Turberville, senior counsel at The Constitution Project, is an advocate for various flaws in the criminal justice system, including indigent defense, the death penalty, habeas corpus, wrongful convictions, and sentencing. A graduate of Tulane Law School, she is the former director of the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Due Process Review Project and has taught classes on the death penalty at the University of Maryland. Previously, Turberville worked as a public defender, representing indigent defendants and raising issues of competency to stand trial. She also defended individuals wrongfully incarcerated as a result of Hurricane Katrina and represented members of the Kosova Liberation Army before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center.

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