American Bar National Symposium on the Modern Death Penalty in America
12 Nov 2013
This symposium will be the culminating event of the American Bar Association’s eight-year endeavor to examine the fairness and accuracy of various death penalty jurisdictions in the United States. The ABA-sponsored analysis of state death penalty laws and processes, known as the “State Assessments,” have produced comprehensive examinations of capital punishment in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. These states represent 65% of the executions that have taken place in the U.S. in the modern death penalty era. The assessments have had a considerable impact on policy in those states as well as nationwide, and have played an important role in the continuing debate over capital punishment in the United States.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will open our symposium, which will be followed by a series of special issue panels discussing the ABA’s findings in various jurisdictions, recommendations for reform, and implications for the future of the death penalty in America. The symposium’s featured speakers and panelists include ABA President Jim Silkenat, President of the Southern Center for Human Rights Stephen B. Bright, the Honorable Boyce Martin, recently retired from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, former Texas Governor Mark White, former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, journalists Ed Pilkington of the UK’s Guardian newspaper and Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune (and many more) will serve as panelists throughout the day as we discuss contemporary problems concerning the use of the death penalty in America, as well as possible solutions to this complex and multi-faceted area of law and policy.