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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Author/educator to speak on death penalty

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 21, 2004 -- You may have caught author/educator Austin Sarat on National Public Radio, The News Hour, or the O’Reilly Factor. He’s also been featured in the New York Times and on “The Today Show.”

Now you can catch him in person when he comes to the University of Rhode Island Wednesday, October 6 to talk about the death penalty. His talk, "On Lawful Lawlessness: Clemency in the Killing State," will be given in the Kirk Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College, is the former president of the Law & Society Association and the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities. He is the author or editor of more than 40 books including When the State Kills: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics and Culture; Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies and the Law: Moving Beyond Legal Realism; and Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Justice. He is currently writing a book entitled Hollywood’s Law: What Movies Do for Democracy.

Sarat will talk about how Illinois Gov. George Ryan, apparently motivated by the fact that more than a dozen prisoners on death row in his state were found innocent, commuted the sentences of all 167 prisoners on death row in 2000. Sarat is also expected to discuss how some governors have used law to overrule the death penalty while others have not."

The evening is co-sponsored by URI’s Center for the Humanities, Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee, English Department, Writers Collective, Political Science Department and the Pre-Law Program. For more information, call Valerie Karno, assistant professor of English, 874-4682 or 874-5931.

Photo credit: Amherst College