UT Law Presents: The American Death Penalty in the 21st Century

The University of Texas School of Law’s Capital Punishment Center will host a conference on legislative developments concerning the American death penalty on April 9–10. “The American Death Penalty in the Twenty-first Century: the Direction of Legislative Change and the Prospects for Legislative Abolition” will bring together lawyers and lawmakers from around the country to talk about efforts to abolish the death penalty (New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Colorado, Kansas) as well as efforts to expand it (Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Hampshire) and reform it (North Carolina, Maryland, California).


The event is free and open to the public, with conference events beginning on Friday April 9 at 10:15 AM in the Eidman Courtroom.

The following is the conference schedule:

Friday April 9th

10:15 – 10:30 Welcoming Remarks
Dean Larry Sager, UT School of Law
Jordan Steiker, Professor, UT School of Law

10:30 – 12:00: National Perspective on Recent Developments
Shari Silberstein, Executive Director, Equal Justice USA
Dick Dieter, Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center
Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director, National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Moderator: Maurie Levin, UT School of Law

12:00 – 1:30: Lunch

1:30 – 3:00: Abolition Achieved : The Experiences in New Mexico, New Jersey, & New York Shari Silberstein, Executive Director, Equal Justice USA
Viki Elkey, Director, New Mexico Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty
Jonathan Gradess , Executive Director, New York State Defender’s Association
Moderator: Jordan Steiker, UT School of Law

3:15 – 4:30: Study and Reform of the Death Penalty: Maryland & California
Dick Dieter, Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center
Amy Fusting – Program Director, Maryland Citizens Against State Executions
Gerald Uelman, Dean, Santa Clara School of Law
Moderator: Jim Marcus, UT School of Law

Saturday April 10th

8:30 – 9:45: Reintroduction, Expansion and Administration of the Death Penalty: Georgia, Virginia & Massachusetts
Chris Adams, Law Office of Chris Adams, Atlanta, Georgia
Beth Panilaitis, Executive Director, Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
Renny Cushing, New Hampshire House of Representatives; Executive Director, Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights
Moderator: Rob Owen, UT School of Law

9:45 – 11:00 Abolition Contested: The Experiences in Colorado, Kansas & New Hampshire Michael Radelet, Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder
Donna Schneweis, State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator, Amnesty International
Renny Cushing, New Hampshire House of Representatives; Executive Director, Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights
Moderator: Jordan Steiker, UT School of Law

11:00 – 12:15: Reform to Redress Race Discrimination: The experience in North Carolina
Rob Owen, Professor, UT School of Law
Ken Rose, Senior Attorney, Center for Death Penalty Litigation
Larry Womble, State Representative, North Carolina
Moderator: Maurie Levin, UT School of Law