A study on capital punishment co-authored by Harvard Law School Professor Carol Steiker ’86 and her brother Jordan Steiker ’88 a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, was influential in Connecticut’s recent decision to abolish the death penalty in that state.
Since at least 1983, when Harvard Law student Evan Wolfson ’83 wrote a third-year paper exploring a human rights argument for same-sex marriage, Harvard Law School has participated in anticipating, shaping, critiquing, analyzing and guiding the long path toward marriage equality.
On Friday, Feb. 6, after several town hall meetings in which Harvard Law students and faculty shared their experiences and observations of discrimination and systemic injustice, as well as hopes for pedagogical and cultural shifts at the law school, the HLS community convened to discuss a somewhat more familiar law school topic: legal and policy reforms.
HLS Professor Carol Steiker is using her year as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s Rita E. Hauser Fellow to work with her brother and frequent collaborator, Jordan M. Steiker, on a book about the past half-century’s experiment with the constitutional regulation of capital punishment in America. She recently spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the history and future of the death penalty in the United States.
And discussions have continued into the new year about the policy and procedures of police, prosecutors and the community at large.
At a time when policing, prosecutorial discretion, the death penalty, and criminal justice as a whole are under tremendous scrutiny in the United States, a new initiative at Harvard Law School seeks to analyze problems within the U.S. criminal justice system and look for solutions.