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January 17, 2009

Death penalty colloquium next month at Tennessee College of Law

As detailed on this webpage, the University of Tennessee College of Law has a big death penalty event next month. Here are some particulars via an e-mail I received from one of the organizers:

The Tennessee Law Review is hosting an exciting colloquium entitled "The Past, Present, and Future of the Death Penalty." The Colloquium will take place next month, February 6-7, at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Our lineup includes nationally known experts, such as Dwight Aarons, David Baldus, Hugo Adam Bedau, Steve Bright, Deborah Denno, Lyn Entzeroth, the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt, and Penny White. The event's full schedule is available at this link, and registration is open there.

The Colloquium is free to the public, though we're asking everyone to register so we can estimate how many attendees to expect. For attorneys seeking CLE credit, the Colloquium has been approved for 6 hours of general credit, with registration at $150. 

Additionally, the Tennessee Law Review will publish articles from many of the Colloquium speakers in a special Spring 2009 Symposium Issue on the Death Penalty.

January 17, 2009 at 06:04 PM | Permalink


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Judge Merritt, an expert? Surely you jest.

Posted by: | Jan 17, 2009 8:12:02 PM

From looking at the panel, it appears as if capital murderers will be well represented.

Posted by: justice seeker | Jan 18, 2009 1:48:09 PM

Hey, Justice Seeker, will you pledge to support me in my drive to televise all executions so that the public can make a democratic choice about the wisdom of the death penalty?

Or do you just want to rest on the say-so of some legislators (some of which went to low-ranked law schools or no law school at all)?

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 19, 2009 8:01:41 AM


I wouldn't oppose it as long as the crime was equally emphasized. Maybe something like the movie "Dead Man Walking" which showed depictions of the crime along with the execution. Your comment about "legislators" is nonsensical so I can't respond to it.

Posted by: justice seeker | Jan 19, 2009 9:55:09 AM

Please let us know if we can answer any questions concerning the event. Our organizing committee has been working hard for over a year to put the event together, and we're looking forward to welcoming everyone who would like to attend.

James Inman
Editor in Chief, Tennessee Law Review

Posted by: James Inman | Jan 19, 2009 2:31:13 PM

Mr. Inman,

I have a question for you. Your panel appears to consist entirely of people who have represented capital murderers or who advocate for the abolition of capital punishment. I don't see any prosecutors or conservative academics/judges who are listed as speakers. Speaking from personal knowledge, I know of several lawyers in the Tennessee AG's Office who would make excellent presentations. Oh well, another two-day forum at a law school where all the presenters agree with each other.

Posted by: justice seeker | Jan 19, 2009 2:51:30 PM

I second justice seeker's question. Maybe someone will ask Judge Merritt about how Sharon Tewksbury should feel about the Sixth Circuit's shenanigans in the John Byrd case.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 19, 2009 7:14:58 PM

Thank you for your question, justice seeker, and for your feedback.

Our organizing committee identified and invited speakers both for and against the death penalty. We have the lineup of distinguished speakers noted on the website, and we're proud to be welcoming them to campus.

We have made a strong effort to reach out to legal and academic communities invested in death penalty research, and our hope is that attendees with a range of views will attend, enriching the discussions and overall experience for everyone.

Best wishes,

James Inman
Editor in Chief, Tennessee Law Review

Posted by: James Inman | Jan 20, 2009 1:19:16 PM

Mr. Inman,

I don't really see anyone in the "for the death penalty" category. Perhaps you can be more specific on who you consider that to be. As someone putting on an event for a law school, you should attempt to present all sides of an issue.

Posted by: justice seeker | Jan 20, 2009 2:28:30 PM

Bull! As someone putting on an event for a law school you should attract as much attention to the law school from people that can give your law students jobs. Let's face it, if at least two of the TN class of 2009 doesn't get jobs paying over $125k per year as a result of this event, it was a waste of time and money. Guests should be selected on that basis.

There are plenty of people that like to prattle on about how great the DP is, but they simply don't have anything to offer a law student.

Likewise, most prosecutors don't want to go to a law school to participate in a scholarly debate about something that they do day-in and day-out. Only if they are the kind of prosecutor that is a bad lawyer but trolls the "ignorant lay scum" (as they are called) would they even think of showing up. The rest of them actually have to prepare and try cases.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jan 21, 2009 2:38:27 AM

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