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Clemency and the Executive's Power to Spare Life or Let Someone Die is Lecture Topic

Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat to present Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution April 22

April 4, 2005


When Illinois Governor George Ryan emptied Illinois' death row in January 2003, his actions put a new face on when and to whom clemency should be accorded. It's a topic that Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat will examine when he presents the Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law on Friday, April 22.

In his lecture, "Mercy, Clemency, and Capital Punishment: Two Accounts," Professor Sarat will discuss two examples of the speech and writing that surround clemency, one by Governor Ryan, the other by former Ohio Governor Michael DiSalle. He will focus on how governors use rhetoric and narrative in coping with the decision to spare a life or let someone die, and how they explain or justify their use of this extraordinary power.

The lecture begins at Noon in the Saxbe Auditorium of Drinko Hall, 55 W. 12th Avenue. A boxed lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by April 20 to Laura Landy Carr, (614) 292-2937 or carr.275@osu.edu.

Professor Sarat is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College 40th Anniversary Professor at Amherst College. He is author or editor of more than fifty books, including When the State Kills: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics, and Culture. His public writing has appeared in such places as the Los Angeles Times and the American Prospect, and he has been a guest on National Public Radio, The News Hour, and The O'Reilly Factor. His teaching has been featured in The New York Times and on the Today Show. He is currently writing a book, Hollywood's Law: What Movies Do for Democracy.

The Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution was established in 1992 through the generosity of the late Stanley Schwartz, Jr. '47, and the Schwartz family. Each lecture is published in the interdisciplinary Ohio State Journal of Dispute Resolution, in keeping with Mr. Schwartz's interest in the promotion of scholarly publication in the area of dispute resolution.

Since 1891, the Moritz College of Law has played a leading role in the legal profession through countless contributions made by alumni and faculty. Graduates of the school reside in all 50 states and 20 other countries and include justices of the Ohio Supreme Court, current and former U.S. senators and representatives, managing partners in law firms of all sizes, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 corporations, and attorneys with nonprofit organizations and public interest law firms.