Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty
What does justice require? This question’s application to the capital punishment debate is the primary investigation of the sixth annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty. Co-hosted by UVU Integrated Studies and Peace and Justice Studies, the conference will be held on Nov. 9 in the UVU Library auditorium, room LI 120.
The program’s keynote speaker will be Juan Melendez, a former death row inmate who served 17 years for a crime he did not commit. Melendez’s remarks will be followed by an address from prominent capital punishment advocate Robert Blecker.
“It is interesting to have a person who was innocent, yet sentenced to death, speak just before a rather famous proponent of the death penalty speaks. This juxtaposition will be thought provoking,” said Michael Minch, director of UVU’s Peace and Justice Studies program.
Since his exoneration in 2002, Juan Melendez has been a human rights activist and capital punishment opponent. Melendez serves on the board of directors of the organization Journey of Hope ... from Violence to Healing, and is a member of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He also founded the Voices United for Justice Project.
Robert Blecker is a professor at New York Law School and nationally known capital punishment advocate. He was featured in the documentary film “Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead,” which will be screened at UVU on Nov. 8 (see schedule on left).
Other speakers will include Ralph Dellapiana, a 15-year public defender and founder of Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, and LaVarr McBride, former state corrections manager of Death Penalty Training and current victim specialist for Defense Initiative Victim Outreach. The conference will include an open panel discussion for attendees to pose questions to these and other specialists.
Designed to publicly deliberate the ethical implications of capital punishment, the annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty examines current punitive justice methods and highlights an alternative approach known as restorative justice. Restorative justice is an expanding global movement intended to balance the needs of both offenders and victims by reconciling relationships.
“Societies that utilize the death penalty ought to have very good reasons for doing so,” Minch said. “This symposium will be an excellent opportunity to explore what reasons, if any, those might be.”
Promotional Materials8.5x11 Symposium Schedule
12x18 Keynote Poster
2' x 3' November 8th Poster
2' x 3' November 9th Poster
1/4 Sheet "Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead" Flyer
1/4 Sheet "Juan Melendez" Flyer
ResourcesCHSS Student Engagement Page With Related Readings
The Death Penalty Information Center
Related Symposiums at UVU1st Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty
2nd Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty
3rd Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty
4th Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty
5th Annual Symposium on Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty