Law School symposium to address lynching and the death penalty, March 23-24, 2012

“Lynching and the Death Penalty” will be held at the University of Texas School of Law on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, 2012 in the Eidman Courtroom. The symposium will bring together leading scholars and advocates to explore the historical link between lynching and the death penalty, their similarities and differences, and the enduring role of lynching and race discrimination in contemporary capital litigation. 

The symposium will start at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2012, with a keynote address by Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, entitled “Lynching, Racial History, and Death Penalty Disqualification.” Panels Friday afternoon and Saturday morning will address the history of lynching; the relationship between lynching and the death penalty during the lynching era; lynching’s legacy and contemporary capital practice; and lynching and contemporary litigation.  Participants include national experts in the field, including UT Law faculty, representing a range of disciplines and perspectives.

“Examining the link between lynching and the death penalty is essential to understanding the nature and contemporary administration of capital punishment.  We are honored to be hosting such an important program,” said Professor Jordan Steiker, Judge Robert M. Parker Chair in Law and codirector of the Law School’s Capital Punishment Center.

The symposium is presented by the Capital Punishment Center and cosponsored by the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.  Student organization cosponsors include the American Journal of Criminal Law, the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students’ Association, the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, and the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society.

The conference is free and open to the public; however, advance registration is recommended. For the symposium schedule, a list of participants and their biographies, and information about how to register, visit the symposium website.

Press contact: Kirston Fortune, University of Texas School of Law Communications, 512-471-7330,

Conference contact: Rachel Sidopulos, Administrator, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-6277,

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