death penalty, Politics and the, capital punishment


Ronald J. Tabak, Chair of the Committee on the Death Penalty for the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, discusses the Section's purpose in organizing Forhdam University School of Law's panel discussion on "Politics and the Death Penalty." The goal was to illuminate the variety of effects of a widespread perception that the belief of legislators, governors, prosecutors, judges, clemency boards, political candidates and others that the public is overwhelmingly in support of capital punishment. The Section aimed to bring together knowledgeable people from a variety of perspectives to discuss (a) how the capital punishment system and the political process have been affected by the perceived overwhelming popular support for the death penalty, (b) the role that reportage - or the lack thereof - has had on public attitudes about the death penalty and (c) whether opponents of capital punishment can survive politically. Taback then gives an overview of what was discussed by each panelist, which included Norman Redlich, former Dean of New York University Law School, James Coleman, Shabata Sundiata Waglini, Attorney General Ernest Preate, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center, journalist Nat Hentoff, New York State Assemblywoman Susan John, and Chief Justice Exum of the North Carolina Supreme Court discuss the issue of the death penalty in America.

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