We believe the death penalty, however administered, will almost always violate universally accepted and absolute human rights, namely, the right to life and the right not to be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
LECTURES & Seminars
DPP Lecture, 2016
On 6th January Professor Nigel Eastman gave our 2016 lecture, “Mental Disorder and the Death Penalty” at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Professor Eastman described the failings of both psychiatry and law justly and reflected on what should be the modifying effect of mental disorder on both verdict and sentencing in capital cases.
DPP Lecture, 2015
Our 2015 annual lecture, “Confronting Injustice: Protecting Human Rights Challenged by Poverty, Racial Bias and Mass Incarceration” was held at the Photographers’ Gallery in London on 4th February 2015. The lecture, held in conjunction with the exhibition Human Rights Human Wrongs, was delivered by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative in USA. Bryan discussed the challenges created by poverty, racial bias, over-incarceration and excessive punishment. He also discussed the dynamics that he believes are critical to protecting human rights and advancing social justice when injustice and inequality are present in a society.
DPP Lecture, 2014
On 28th January 2014, our 3rd lecture was held at the Inner Temple. Professor William Schabas delivered an inspiring lecture entitled “Universal Abolition: Only a Decade Away“. A video recording of the lecture, including the Q&A session, can be viewed here.
DPP Lecture, 2011
On 13 January 2011, we organised and hosted a lecture delivered by Wilbert Rideau, an ex-death row prisoner, entitled ‘Crime, Punishment and Rehabilitation’.
Wilbert was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a woman in 1961 in America’s segregated Deep South. Imprisoned for forty-four years in the most violent prison in America (of which twelve years were spent on death row), he was later described as “the most rehabilitated prisoner in America” (Life Magazine). Wilbert talked about his years in prison, how reading saved his sanity and transformed him from an ignorant, uneducated teenager to someone with a contribution to make to society. His life illustrates why we should try to save the lives of even the guilty on death row.
The lecture also marked the official book launch of Wilbert’s extraordinary memoir, In the Place of Justice, published by Profile Books.
The event, held at the Inner Temple, was attended by over 150 guests. Photos from the event can be viewed here.
DPP Lecture, 2010
On 21 January 2010, we organised and hosted a lecture delivered by Professor Roger Hood CBE entitled ‘Towards Global Abolition of the Death Penalty: Progress and Prospects’, which provided an optimistic survey and analysis of the progress in relation to the restriction and abolition of the death penalty worldwide. The event, held at the Inner Temple, was attended by over 100 guests. Professor Hood’s paper is available to download here.
DPP / The Photographers’ Gallery Lecture Series 2015
In conjunction with the exhibition Human Rights Human Wrongs at the Photographers’ Gallery, the DPP is sponsoring a series of talks at the Gallery between 4th February-6th April 2015. See further details here.
Other talks/ events
In January 2015, Professor Michael Radelet of the University of Colorado delivered a talk on the death penalty in the USA: “The Changing Nature of the Death Penalty Debates: A Case Study from Colorado“.
Watch this space for other upcoming talks/events.
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