United States Death Penalty Roundtable Discussion

The International Bar Association Human Rights Institute and the BBP Law School's Human Rights Unit jointly hosted a roundtable discussion on the legal challenges of abolishing the death penalty in the United States on 21 October.

Author and human rights consultant Piers Bannister chaired the panel, which comprised Reprieve attorney Sophie Walker, Oxford University Reader in Criminology Dr Carolyn Hoyle and Mumia Abu-Jamal's lead counsel Robert Bryan.

Topics covered by the discussion included legal incompetence, victims' innocence, race, poverty, mental health, the defence of proportionality and the impact of international law on domestic policy.


0.00: Introduction by Piers Bannister
11.40: The death penalty in California (Robert Bryan)
21.40: Race, poverty and legal incompetence in death penalty cases (Sophie Walker)


0.00: Proportionality (Dr. Carolyn Hoyle)
5.25: The problem of the proportionality defence (Sophie Walker)
9.35: Proportionality (Robert Bryan)
15.10: Proportionality (Piers Bannister)
18.10: Mental health in death penalty cases
26.30: The impact of international law on American domestic policy
32.35: The problem of innocence in death penalty cases
33.20: Politics and the American judicial system