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In recent decades, there has been much study and debate in the criminal justice community regarding capital punishment and its continued use in most jurisdictions in the United States. Some argue that years of litigation and growing cost have contributed to a new fragility in support for the death penalty and point to polling that reflects decreased enthusiasm for it. Others assert the November 2016 election results at the State and Federal levels demonstrate capital punishment continues to be firmly backed by the public and will remain in place indefinitely.

Professor Carol Steiker of Harvard Law School, author of the recently released, Courting Death - The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment and Professor William Otis, Adjunct Professor of Law for Georgetown University Law Center and former federal prosecutor, joined us for an insightful look at this important topic.


  • Professor William G. Otis, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Professor Carol Steiker, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, Harvard Law School