Merciful Judgments

Merciful Judgments

September 24, 2010

Organized by Professor Austin Sarat, Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar, The University of Alabama School of Law and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political, Science Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, Amherst College. Arguments about the place of mercy and merciful judgments abound. They flourish in organized religion, fiction, philosophy, and law, to say nothing of the conversations of daily life among parents and their children, teachers and their students, criminals and those who judge them, lovers, friends, business associates, etc. Yet as common as these arguments are we are left often with an incomplete understanding of what we mean and do when speak about or make merciful judgments. The purpose of this symposium is to ask what merciful judgments “look like”? How do we recognize and make sense of judgments that are merciful? Does mercy transform judgment or can it be easily accommodated to it? How does mercy get translated into institutional practices? Can literary or religious representations of mercy thicken our understanding of their legal role?

Welcome and Introduction

Dean Ken Randall and Professor Austin Sarat

Session I
Articulations of Mercy and the American Regime of Punishment

Professor Robert A. Ferguson, Columbia Law School
Moderator: Professor Joseph Colquitt, The University of Alabama School of Law

Session II ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Mercy, Desert and Criminal Law’s Moral Credibility

Professor Paul H. Robinson, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Moderator: Professor Joseph Colquitt, The University of Alabama School of Law

Lunch and Keynote ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Justice, Community, and Mercy

Professor Stephen Macedo, Princeton University and James Staihar, Princeton University and University of Maryland
Moderator: Professor Pamela Bucy, The University of Alabama School of Law

Session III ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Actions of Mercy

Professor Alice Ristroph, Seton Hall University School of Law
Moderator: Professor Steven Hobbs, The University of Alabama School of Law

Session IV ( Download MP3/Podcast)
Mercy, Judgment, and the Epistemology of the “Exception” in the Context of Transitional Justice

Professor Susan H. Williams, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Moderator: Timothy Hoff, The University of Alabama School of Law

Our Podcast Symposia Feed is available here:
http://www.law.ua.edu/resources/podcasts/symposia/

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