Restorative Justice Conference: The Death Penalty versus Life Without Parole

Restorative Justice Conference: The Death Penalty versus Life Without Parole
02/22/2013 - 16:30
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Restorative Justice Conference: The Death Penalty versus Life Without Parole
Date: Friday, February 22, 2013
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Eckstein Hall
Access: RSVP Required
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On-line registration for the Friday RJI Conference have been shut-down, you are still welcome to attend, but will need to register at the events.


Watch Day 1Watch Day 2

The Death Penalty Versus Life Without Parole: Comparing the Healing Impact on Victims' Families and the Community

The death penalty. Life without the possibility of parole. These are society's harshest punishments. But how do they affect the victims' families? Is one more healing than the other? Is there ever closure? And what is the ripple effect on the community?

Marquette Law School's Restorative Justice Conference on February 21–22, 2013, will examine the impact of both sanctions through the personal stories of survivors, prosecutors, defense lawyers, victims' advocates, and judges. The conference is based on a groundbreaking study by Marilyn Armour of victims' families in Texas (affected by the death penalty) and Minnesota (affected by life without the possibility of parole) and the implications of these punishments for healing.


There is no fee for the Keynote Kickoff event on Thursday. Friday conference fee is $20 per person (includes continental breakfast and lunch on conference day). Marquette University students and employees may attend at no charge but must, like others, register.  Paying by check?  Please make check payable to Marquette Law School and mail to Marquette Law School, Eckstein Hall, Att'n RJI Conference, PO Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI  53201-1881.


If you have concerns about the conference cost, special dietary needs, or any questions, contact Christine Wilczynski-Vogel, Associate Dean for External Relations, Events, and Facilities, at or (414) 288-3167.

Thursday, February 21

Conference Keynote Kickoff
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
1 CLE applied for. CLE is for the keynote only.

What Difference Does It Make? How the Harshest Possible Punishment Influences Family Members of Homicide Victims
Marilyn Armour
Associate Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, School of Social Work, University of Texas

Although the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole are touted as bringing closure to victims' families, little is known from survivors themselves about the impact on their lives of these sanctions. Dr. Armour will share key findings from her research on survivors in Texas (affected by the death penalty) and Minnesota (affected by life without the possibility of parole) and the implications of both punishments for survivor healing.

Friday, February 22

8:00 a.m. • Coffee and registration

8:30 a.m. • Welcome

Janine P. Geske
Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, distinguished professor of law, and director, Restorative Justice Initiative, Marquette Law School

8:50 a.m.Panel 1. Death-Penalty Survivor Families

Paula Kurland, survivor from Texas
Aji Varghese, survivor from Texas
Kent Whitaker, survivor from Texas

9:50 a.m. • Break

10:10 a.m.Panel 2. Life-Without-the-Possibility-of-Parole and Life-With-Parole Survivor Families

Suzie Carlson, survivor from Minnesota
Patti Drew, survivor from Minnesota

11:10 a.m.Contextualizing the Stories of Survivor Families

Marilyn Armour will summarize and connect her research findings to the experiences of the survivor panelists. The focus of her remarks will be on state differences, survivor well-being, and the reestablishment of control.

11:40 a.m. • Lunch

Complimentary box lunch will be provided.

12:30 p.m • Panel 3. Prosecutors, Defense Lawyers, Advocates: Personal and Professional Impact

Eduardo M. Borda, Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyer, Magner, Hueneke, Smith, & Borda, LLP

Paul K. Charlton, former United States Attorney and currently a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm Gallagher & Kennedy

Bonnie Hannan, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Washington, D.C.

Kathryn Kase, Executive Director of Texas Defender Service

Susannah Sheffer, author of Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys

1:30 p.m.Panel 4. Judge and Warden: Personal and Professional Impact

Honorable Maxine Aldridge White, Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Jeanne Woodford, former warden at San Quentin State Prison, current executive director at Death Penalty Focus, and official proponent of the SAFE California Campaign

2:10 p.m.Panel 5. Victim Support and Clergy: Personal and Professional Impact

Reverend Jerry Hancock, J.D., MDiv, ordained minister, United Church of Christ
Lydia Newlin, Victim Assistance & Restorative Justice Program Director, Minnesota Department of Corrections

Mark Odom, Deputy Director of Victim Services, Texas Department of Criminal Justice

3:00 p.m. Honoring the Voice of Family Survivors of Homicide: Implications for the Global Restorative Justice Movement

Mark Umbreit, Professor, School of Social Work and Director, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Ivo Aertsen, Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Professors Aertsen and Umbreit will speak to the importance of honoring and respecting the diverse needs of family survivors of homicide, moving beyond current assumptions that routinely reflect little understanding and recognition of the voice of those who have suffered the most from the trauma of murder. Implications for the practice of restorative justice in the international community will also be addressed.

3:40 p.m. Closing by Janine P. Geske


Eckstein Hall
1215 W. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233