Dr. Dennis Potthoff
UNK Department of Teacher Education, 308.865.8814

“The Death Penalty: Justice, Retribution and Dollars” is the topic of the E.N. Thompson Series presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Nebraska Solicitor Gen. J. Kirk Brown and Dr. Michael Radelet, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, will debate and explore questions about the death penalty, including whether it is humane, fairly applied, reduces violent crime or is cost effective.

The debate is being simulcast at the UNK Communications Center, Room 101, and to other location across the state from the Lied Center in Lincoln. The simulcast is free and open to the public.

Brown has served as Nebraska’s Solicitor General since 2003. He previously served as the Nebraska Department of Justice’s chief of the Criminal Bureau, chief of the Criminal Appellate Section and chief of the Civil Litigation Section.

For more than 28 years, Brown has been Nebraska’s primary counsel in capital cases and was counsel of record in Nebraska’s three, most recent executions: State vs. Otey (1994); State vs. Joubert (1996); and State vs. Williams (1997).

A graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1973, Brown has lectured nationally on the death penalty, appellate practice, federal habeas corpus and correction law.

Dr. Radelet, a sociology professor, has focused his research on capital punishment, problems or erroneous convictions, racial bias and ethical issues faced by health care personnel involved in capital cases and executions.

His work with erroneous convictions, with Hugo Adam Bedau, emeritus professor of philosophy at Tufts University in Boston, Mass., is widely credited with introducing the “innocence argument” into contemporary death penalty debates.

The lecture, part of the 2012-1023 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues series addressing religion, rights and politics, is presented by the Nebraska Humanities Council and co-sponsored by the E.N. Thompson Forum.

One more lecture in the series, “True Islam: Human Rights, Faith and Women,” presented by Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi, will be simulcast on the UNK campus on Tuesday, Feb. 26.