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Technology and the Law: Deconstructing the Death Penalty

October 3, 2011

Things have been busy at the law school with OCI season, and I haven’t had a chance to post much. Going forward will be a series of posts regarding a law student’s perspectives on various posts already on this blog. Below is a piece from one of my classmates, Calandra Hersud ’13, and her experience with a recent webinar on the death penalty, as another perspective to the previous post by guest blogger Kahlil Williams and his reflections on the recent executions of Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewer.


On Tuesday, September 27th, the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University joined 80 law schools across the country in its first interactive webinar, Deconstructing the Death Penalty, offered by the American University Washington School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Eight experts discussed the implications and implementation of the death penalty in the United States, focusing on the recent execution of Troy Davis and blending a mix of social justice to constitutional to procedural issues. Panelists included Prof. Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture; Prof. Rick Wilson, drafter of the EU amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons; Laura Moye, Director of the Death Penalty Abolition Campaign at Amnesty International USA; Richard Deiter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center; Prof. Angela Davis, author of Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor; Prof. Ira Robbins, an expert in post-conviction remedies; and Prof. Darren Hutchinson, an expert in constitutional law and social movements.

When I heard about the webinar from Professor Kalhan that American University offers, I saw this as an opportunity to hear from leading death penalty experts on a current hot topic in law. Four student organizations worked together to put together the event at Drexel in about five days.  I particularly enjoyed that the panel represented many facets of the death penalty debate from procedural and constitutional law issues to human rights, policy and advocacy. As a law student, the panel gave me an opportunity hear from professors, a UN rappeteur and an activist from Amnesty Inernational USA. The interactive webinars provided access to an event at another law school, that I normally wouldn’t have had access to.

The panel discussion was a live webcast for those holding viewings remotely, with over 80 remote locations participating in the discussion via live webcast. It can be accessed through the embedded video available below:

This event is just one example of how technology can provide access to learning opportunities that enhance and supplement my learning at Drexel.  More information about the International Law Society at the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University is available at our student ran blog:

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