Since its inception in 1970, the Review of Law & Social Change has hosted a series of symposia and colloquia on topics which its members have considered timely and important. These events, which bring together leading aca- demics and practitioners, have concerned a wide range of legal issues, as reflected in past editions of the journal.
In the Spring of 1988, the Review’s incoming editorial board chose the death penalty as the topic for its 1989-90 colloquium. Our decision was based on several considerations. First, we understood that the subject had become more complex in recent years, due largely to a series of increasingly narrow decisions by the United States Supreme Court. Second, the death penalty had recently played a very visible role in several significant political campaigns at both the state and national levels. Third, we recognized that both Congress and the Court were likely, in the near future, to make significant changes in federal habeas corpus, traditionally the most important forum in which death row inmates have challenged the constitutionality of their conviction or sentence.
With the invaluable assistance of Professor Anthony G. Amsterdam and then-Associate Dean Eleanor M. Fox, to whom we offer our deepest gratitude, the Review organized an event which filled the law school’s Great Hall for two full days. That event generated some twenty Articles, the first ten of which are printed in this issue. The remaining pieces will comprise the issue following this one.
Indeed, the death penalty colloquium is the largest project the Review has ever undertaken, and one of the most substantial efforts to date by a law review in this topic area. We thank all of those who attended or participated in the colloquium, and we hope that the Articles presented here will be of some use to those who seek to understand and practice in this very complex and fast-changing area of the law.
Examination of if Teague and its exceptions continue to protect the innocent defendant as do the rules pertaining to abuse of the writ and procedural default.
Examination of the of the increasing time limitations on death row inmate's ability to file habease corpus petitions.
Argues the necessity of public education and exposure of capital trials in order to educate the public regarding the injustice of the death penalty.
Examination of the declining use of executive clemency in capital cases.