February 11, 2013
Death Penalty vs. Life Without Parole: Marquette Law School conference to address healing impact on the community
Date: Thursday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 22
Time: Thursday, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, 8 a.m. registration
Place: Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall
The Marquette Law School Restorative Justice Initiative
will host a conference to examine the impact of both the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole through the personal stories of survivors, prosecutors, defense lawyers, victims’ advocates and judges. “Restorative Justice Conference: The Death Penalty versus Life Without Parole,” will take place Thursday, Feb. 21, and Friday, Feb. 22, at Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St. There is no fee for the Keynote Kickoff event on Thursday; Friday conference fee is $20 for non-Marquette students and employees, and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Registration is required and can be completed online
The conference is based on a groundbreaking study by Dr. Marilyn Armour of victims’ families in Texas who were affected by the death penalty and victims’ families in Minnesota who were affected by life without the possibility of parole, and the implications of these punishments for healing. The Marquette Law Review
article on the study, Assessing the Impact of the Ultimate Penal Sanction on Homicide Survivors: A Two State Comparison
, by Dr. Armour and Dr. Mark S. Umbreit, can be read online
. This study is the first of its kind to assess the impact of the death penalty versus life without the possibility of parole on survivors.
Dr. Armour, associate professor and University Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas, will also give the conference keynote address “What Difference Does It Make? How the Harshest Possible Punishment Influences Family Members of Homicide Victims,” Thursday, Feb. 21, at 4:30 p.m. The conference will resume Friday, Feb. 22, beginning with coffee and registration at 8 a.m. and a welcome address from Janine Geske, distinguished professor of law and director of the Restorative Justice Initiative, at 8:30 a.m. Panels will begin at 8:50 a.m., to include:
- “Death-Penalty Survivor Families” and “Life-Without-the-Possibility-of-Parole and Life-With-Parole- Survivor Families” – Panelists will share their journeys about how the murder of a loved one and the sentence received by the offender of death or life in prison has affected their lives.
- “Contextualizing the Stories of the Survivor” – Armour will summarize and connect her research findings to the experiences on the survivor panelists, focusing her remarks on state differences, survivor well-being and the reestablishment of control;
- “Prosecutors, Defense Lawyers, Advocates: Personal and Professional Impact” – Panelists of prosecutors and former and current criminal defense attorneys will talk about their experiences working with the victims’ family members, while also interacting with the offenders through the criminal justice process in the aftermath of a brutally violent death.
- “Judge and Warden: Personal and Professional Impact” – The Honorable Maxine Aldridge White of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and Jeanne Woodford, former warden at San Quentin State Prison and current executive director at Death Penalty Focus, will discuss what it’s like to be part of the system handling these cases, while being mindful of the impact on the surviving family members of the victim;
- “Victim Support and Clergy: Personal and Professional Impact” – Religious ministers and victim services advocates will discuss their personal stories working with family members of homicide victims as well as facilitating victim/offender dialogues;
- “Honoring the Voice of Family Survivors of Homicide: Implications for the Global Restorative Justice Movement” – Mark Umbreit, professor in the School of Social Work and director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Ivo Aertsen, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, will speak to the importance of respecting the needs of family survivors of homicide, moving beyond current assumptions that routinely reflect little understanding and recognition of the voice of those who have suffered the most from the trauma or murder. Implications for the practice of restorative justice in the international community will also be addressed.
A full conference schedule and list of panelists is available online
Questions or concerns about the conference or registration can be directed to Christine Wilczynski-Vogel, associate dean for external relations, events and facilities, at (414) 288-3167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media interested in attending should contact Brigid Miller in the Office of Marketing and Communication at (414) 288-7445 or email@example.com