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Media Advisory: Death Penalty Focus of Albany Symposium on Crime and Justice

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 4, 2006)

Albany Symposium on Crime and Justice: The Next Generation of Death Penalty Research: Priorities, Strategies, and an Agenda. Exploring contemporary death‑penalty laws and practices with the purpose of setting an agenda for empirical research in contributing to changing capital‑punishment policies.

Uptown campus, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany. For more information on the conference, visit the Capital Punishment Research Initiative.

Friday-Saturday, Oct. 6-7, 2006
Reception: Friday, Oct. 6, 5:15 p.m., Standish Room

Friday, Oct. 6

12 p.m. Welcome: Luncheon and Opening Remarks (Alumni House)
Dean Julie Horney, University at Albany
James Acker, University at Albany
Hugo Adam Bedau, Keynote Address: Reflections on the Past, Questions for the Future

1:30 Session One: Institutional and Disciplinary Perspectives (Empire Commons). Ron Tabak, Moderator
A. David Garland, Toward a Historical Sociology of American Capital Punishment
B. Jordan Steiker, Constitutional Regulation in the Future: Empirical Study of the Role of Empirical Analysis in Constitutional Litigation
C. Deborah Fleischaker, How the ABA's Moratorium Project is Setting the Stage for Further Research
D. Peter Loge, No Politics Please, We're Scholars: Why Political Scientists and Death Penalty Activists Should Spend More Time Learning From Each Other

3 Break

3:15 Session Two: Public Policy Perspectives (Empire Commons): Jody Madeira, Moderator
A. David Dow and Eric Freedman, The Empirical and Legal Effects of AEDPA
B. Jonathan Gradess, Capital Losses: the Price of the Death Penalty in America
C. Richard Dieter & Robert Warden, The Future of the Innocence Issue
D. William Bowers and Scott Sundby, Accounting for the Nationwide Downturn in Death Sentences

4:45 Break

5:15 Reception: National Death Penalty Archive (Science Library)
Charles Lanier, Dean Frank D'Andraia, Brian Keough, Scott Christianson, Bill Babbitt; discussion led by Babbitt. The Bill Babbitt Collection, part of the NDPA, consists of materials related to the execution of Manny Babbitt in California on May 4, 1999, and the subsequent activism of his brother Bill Babbitt, who is a Board Member of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights. Manny, who received a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam, was a paranoid schizophrenic who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was convicted for the murder of an elderly woman who had died of a heart attack after a break-in and beating, and sent to death row in 1982. The collections includes personal effects from Manny's cell after he was put to death, court documents, photos of his friends and their families, family photos, Manny's poems and other writings, books in his library, and cards and letters sent to him from around the world. Also included are newspaper clippings of the arrest, clemency campaign and execution of Manny Babbitt, VCR tapes of news coverage of the clemency campaign with David Kaczynski, VCR and CD tapes of documentaries featuring Bill Babbitt, and several books on the Babbitt story.

Saturday, Oct. 7

8 a.m. Continental Breakfast (Empire Commons)

8:30 Session Three: The Death Penalty As Applied (Empire Commons)
Greg Pogarsky, Moderator
A. Michael Radelet & Glenn Pierce, New Perspectives on Racial Bias in Death Sentencing
B. Jeffrey Fagan, The Front End of Capital Punishment
C. Jon Sorensen, The Future of "Future Dangerousness" Research
D. David Baldus & George Woodworth, Empirical Studies of Race Discrimination in the Administration of the Death Penalty: The History, Lessons Learned, and Recommended Approaches

10 Break

10:15 Session Four: Participants in the Capital Punishment Process (Empire Commons)
Robert Owen, Moderator
A. Craig Haney, Capital Defendants and the Future of Capital Mitigation
B. William Bowers, Looking More Closely at the Capital Jury
C. Margaret Vandiver, Secondary Victims: Murder Victims' Survivors and Offenders' Families
D. Austin Sarat, Pardon Tales in the Killing State: Clemency, Culture, and Narration

11:45 Lunch (Alumni House)

1 p.m. Session Five: The Punishment of Death (Empire Commons)
Scott Christianson, Moderator
A. John Blume & Sheri Lynn Johnson, Mental Retardation and Capital Punishment Four Years After Atkins
B. Robert Johnson & Sandy McGunigall-Smith, Terminal Men: A Study of Men Facing Death by Execution or Death by Incarceration
C. Deborah Denno, How Medical Participation and Procedures Have Changed the Face of Executions

2:15 Break

2:30 Session Six: Roundtable Discussion—Toward a Research Agenda for the Future (Empire Commons)
James Acker, Moderator

4:00-4:15: Concluding Remarks—Symposium Organizers

UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice announced the establishment of NDPA, a national repository of archival material devoted solely to the death penalty in August 2005. The National Death Penalty Archive was initiated by the school's Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI) to collect archival materials documenting the important history of capital punishment, and to provide resources for historical scholarship. The collection of historical materials will be an unrivaled resource for scholars, students, and the public interested in the history of capital punishment in America, and in the legal and political battles engendered by the sanction. In addition to housing the records and documents of leading figures in scholarship, and legal and community organizations concerning capital punishment, the archive includes oral history interviews featuring prominent activists and professionals involved in death penalty abolition efforts and related work. For more information on the archives, visit the National Death Penalty Archive.

The Capital Punishment Research Initiative, part of the Hindelang Criminal Justice Research Center, was founded in the late 1990s with three primary goals: (1) to build and maintain a national archive for historical documents and data on the death penalty; (2) to plan and conduct basic and policy related research on capital punishment; and (3) to encourage scholarship, conduct graduate and undergraduate training, and disseminate scientifically grounded knowledge about the ultimate penal sanction. For more information, visit the Capital Punishment Research Initiative.

The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives is home to print, manuscript, and archival sources on a wide array of historical topics. The department provides more than 25,000 cubic feet of temperature and humidity controlled shelving space. For additional information on the National Death Penalty Archive, visit the Capital Punishment Research Initiative or contact

Ranked as the No. 2 program in the nation, UAlbany's School of Criminal Justice examines the political, economic and cultural patterns that shape definitions of crime and influence policy. Graduates find opportunities in the expanding academic field of criminal justice research and teaching, all the operating agencies of criminal justice, in addition to the many private and non-profit organizations which provide services or make policy recommendations. For more information, visit the School of Criminal Justice.


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