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2000-01 Symposium

Addressing Capital Punishment Through Statutory Reform

March 30-31, 2001

Recent events have brought renewed attention to the death penalty. Efforts by some lawmakers and courts to restrict appeals by death row inmates has led to record high numbers of executions throughout the United States in the last few years. During this same period, the American Bar Association and other groups have called for a moratorium on executions, citing concerns about fairness, reliability and accuracy the modern administration of capital punishment. The exoneration of numerous defendants sentenced to die has focused considerable attention on potentially innocent persons on death row and has prompted Illinois Governor George Ryan to declare a moratorium on executions in his state. Throughout this period, bills concerning the administration of capital punishment have been put forward in nearly every state as well as in Congress.

On March 30-31, 2001, a number of prominent law and social science professors, legislators, and attorneys will come together at the Ohio State University College of Law not only to discuss the problems said to be plaguing the current system of capital punishment, but also to assess the value of and possibilities for legislative reform of the modern administration of the death penalty. This symposium, entitled “Addressing Capital Punishment Through Statutory Reform,” will include panels on topics such as:

  • The Importance of Statutes and Politics in the Administration of the Death Penalty
  • The Need and Means to Reform Who Is Sentenced to Death
  • The Need and Means to Reform How Death Sentences Are Ascribed, Reviewed, and Carried Out
  • Expanding Our Perspective Beyond the United States and the Death Penalty
  • Assessing Ohio’s Capital Punishment System and Possibilities for Statutory Reform

The symposium is co-sponsored by:

  • The Ohio State University College of Law
  • The Ohio State Law Journal
  • The Center for Law, Policy, and Social Science at the College of Law
  • The Criminal Justice Research Center at The Ohio State University
  • The John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy
  • The Constitution Project’s Death Penalty Initiative
  • The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law

The Ohio State Law Journal will publish papers written by the symposium panelists in a Fall 2001 issue of the Journal dedicated solely to the conference.