Student Resources News and Developments: 2007

RESOURCES: DePaul University College of Law Offers Death Penalty Resources The DePaul University College of Law's Center for Justice in Capital Cases offers a broad range of cutting-edge training programs for those interested in death penalty law, including a wealth of free publications and manuals that capital defense attorneys may find useful. Founded in 2000, the Center is a resource for death penalty attorneys across the nation, providing training and professional seminars on topics such as trial and mitigation investigation, jury decision-making and selection, lawyer stress in the capital defense arena, and forensic pathology. In addition, the Center's Death Penalty Legal Clinic gives current students interested in working on capital cases an opportunity to acquire experience in assisting with representation.  Among the publications offered online are law review articles and manuals on topics that include an analysis of recent Supreme Court criminal and habeas corpus decisions, race, women and the death penalty, investigating and litigating homicide cases, and the execution of those with mental retardation.
(DePaul University College of Law - Center for Justice in Capital Cases, posted Aug. 21, 2007). See also Resources.

BOOKS: DeathQuest III by Robert Bohm In the third edition of what some have called “the first true textbook on the death penalty,” author Robert Bohm, a correctional officer turned college professor, engages the reader with a full account of the arguments and issues surrounding capital punishment. His book, "DeathQuest III: An Introduction to the Theory & Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States," begins with the history of the death penalty from colonial to modern times, and then examines the moral and legal arguments for and against capital punishment. It also provides an overview of major Supreme Court decisions and describes the legal process behind the death penalty. This resource includes the most recent statistics on American public opinion, along with an appendix on the American Bar Association’s guidelines for the appointment and performance of defense counsel in capital cases.  Bohm is currently a Professor of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
(Anderson Publishing, 2007). See Books and DPIC's Educational Curricula on the Death Penalty.

Third World Congress Against the Death Penalty

The Third World Congress Against the Death Penalty took place in Paris from February 1-3, 2007. During this time, Paris welcomed hundreds of death penalty experts and activists from around the world, including numerous U.S. representatives who provided a broad overview of capital punishment trends in the U.S. Among the American panelists who participated in the Congress were:
  • George Kendall, Special Counsel, Holland & Knight, LLP
  • Richard Dieter, DPIC Executive Director
  • Frank Baumgartner, Political Science Professor & Researcher, Penn State University
  • Hugo Bedau, Professor Emeritus, Tufts University
  • Renny Cushing, Murder Victims Families for Human Rights
  • Dr. Jonathan Groner, Professor of Clinical Surgery, The Ohio State University
  • Robin Maher, Capital Representation Project Director, American Bar Association
  • Sam Millsap, Former Bexar County (TX) District Attorney
  • David Bruck, Director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at Washington & Lee School of Law and Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel
  • Rick Halperin, Professor, Southern Methodist University and Amnesty International
In addition to addressing topics related to the U.S. death penalty, the Paris gathering focused on the Maghreb and the Middle East, where countries have been slow to abandon or reform capital punishment.

Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty coordinated the Congress. This was the third world gathering in recent years. Earlier gatherings took place in Strasbourg and Montreal.

Read Richard Dieter's presentation and see the visuals from his address.

Read the Final Declaration of the Third World Congress Against the Death Penalty
Visit the Official Web site of the Third World Congress
NEW RESOURCES: "State of the States" Report Features U.S. Death Penalty Developments's recent "State of the States" report features an extensive article on capital punishment trends in the United States. The piece includes a thorough review of lethal injection challenges in the states, as well as a brief update on the issue of innocence and an overview of other state legislative developments, such as efforts to authorize the death penalty for some crimes other than murder.

The article notes that questions about lethal injection put the death penalty on hold in nine states in 2006, and problems with the procedure left lawmakers grappling with the question of how much pain the condemned feel as they die and what role, if any, medical professionals should play in executions. The report states that the 90-minute botched execution of Ohio death row inmate Joseph Clark was "a stark example of why America is taking a harder look at lethal injection." Clark raised his head and declared that the process was not working before prison officials closed the viewing room curtain as they struggled to find a new vein through which to carry out the execution.

The report also provides charts illustrating the number of executions carried out in the U.S. during the past year and since the death penalty was reinstated, as well as a graphic showing state-by-state information on death row exonerations.

("State of the States Report,", 2007). Order or download the Report.  See Resources, Lethal Injections, and Recent Legislative Activity.

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE: New Textbook on Corrections   Corrections: A Contemporary Introduction is a new academic text being released by Allyn & Bacon publishers. Authored by Leanne F. Alarid of the University of Texas and Philip L. Reichel of the University of Northern Colorado, this resource offers a thorough examination of all aspects of the corrections area in a graphically rich format. It offers students the opportunity to think critically about the future of this field. The textbook features a chapter on Capital Punishment, along with many other topics. (Pearson Education, Inc., Allyn & Bacon, 2008).