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Death Penalty CLE

On-Demand CLE: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Legacy on the Death Penalty


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This October 7 event was part of The Advocates' commemoration of World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10, 2021. The theme for World Day 2021 is Women Sentenced to Death: An Invisible Reality. Justice Ginsburg was a champion of women's rights, and she also famously said, "If I were queen, there would be no death penalty." Faced with much of the Court willing to uphold the constitutionality of capital punishment, Justice Ginsburg often favored the rights of people sentenced to death and restrictions on the death penalty. This CLE examined several of Justice Ginsburg's opinions relating to the death penalty, including Moore v. Texas (2017); Maples v. Thomas (2012); Connick v. Thompson (2011) (dissenting); and Skinner v. Switzer (2011). It also discussed the ACLU amicus brief she wrote in Coker v. Georgia (1977), and her subsequent reflections on that brief. 

Links shared during the live event

During the live event, we shared several links, including key cases, The Advocates' work, and blog posts. Please see below for a list of links. 

Donate to support The Advocates' work to abolish the death penalty worldwide.  

Learn more about The Advocates' work on the death penalty.

Take action on World Day Against the Death Penalty (via World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty).

Human Rights Day 2020 webinar on the death penalty for rape in Bangladesh

Background on the death penalty for rape in Bangladesh

World Day Against the Death Penalty 2020 CLE on access to counsel in death penalty cases

Justice Ginsburg's opinions relating to the death penalty
Additional opinions by Justice Ginsburg regarding jury issues in capital cases
Justice Ginsburg's opinions on prosecutorial misconduct and Brady violations in capital cases
Additional links

Justice Breyer's dissent in Glossip v. Gross (2015)

More about The Advocates' advocacy at the UN to end the death penalty in the United States:

On The Advocates' contributions to this year's high-level panel discussion at the UN Human Rights Council on deterrence and the death penalty

The Advocates' 2020 and 2021 reports on the death penalty for women in South Sudan  

More about The Advocates' work with Tanzanian partners to end the death penalty in that country