Cornell Law School has announced the launch of its Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.
The first of its kind in the country, the program was founded by Cornell Law professor Sandra Babcock, who is its faculty director. "The center will focus on the application of international human rights norms that favor abolition of the death penalty in the United States and other countries," said Babcock.
In addition to its research, advocacy and litigation on death penalty issues around the world, the Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide's major new initiative will be a summer institute that will bring capital defense lawyers from all over the globe together to share strategies on how to most effectively represent their clients.
Funding for the project has been made possible by a $3.25 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by Cornell University alumnus Chuck F. Feeney '56.
In addition to supporting the summer institute, the gift will enable the Center to build partnerships with national and international organizations. It will also advance research on discrimination against Latinos facing the death penalty in the United States and help to sustain the Center's Death Penalty Worldwide database, a free online database on different laws and practices in countries and territories where capital punishment is still in place.
"This generous grant will enhance our partnerships with capital defense lawyers, scholars and non-governmental organizations around the world," said Professor Babcock. "It will enable Cornell Law students to work on capital punishment and human rights issues at a global level."
"Capital punishment has emerged as one of the most important human rights issues in the 21st century, and I am immensely pleased that The Atlantic Philanthropies has recognized Cornell Law School's leading role, globally, in this debate," said Eduardo Peñalver, the Allan R. Tessler Dean of Cornell Law School.
The Center's programming will include clinical courses related to international death penalty and human rights issues, as well as training conferences for attorneys, and research regarding vulnerable groups facing capital punishment, such as women and individuals with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities.
About Cornell Law School
Cornell Law School is a school that combines cutting-edge legal scholarship, inspiring teaching, and a close-knit, intellectually rich environment. For the past two years, it has been rated the most diverse top law school in the country. The Law School has consistently ranked among the top 10 law schools nationwide in large firm job placement. Students come from over 107 different undergraduate institutions, 29 states, and 10 foreign countries.