2024 Texas Law Review Symposium on Mercy


The symposium will consider mercy both as a theoretical construct and as a more practical ambition for legal institutions. Participants will explore various questions about mercy in the law. They will do so through philosophical, institutional, doctrinal, spiritual, and other lenses. Questions posed over the course of the symposium will include: Should mercy be elevated as an organizing principle of criminal punishment; how should it frame debates about discretion that actors within the system exercise; how does mercy implicate contemporary discourse around structural disadvantage; and what is (or ought be) the role of mercy in non-criminal contexts?

Symposium participants include Regina Austin (University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law), Rachel Barkow (NYU Law), Jeffrey Bellin (William and Mary Law), Stephen Bero (University of Surrey), Joshua Bowers (University of Virginia School of Law), Bennett Capers (Fordham Law), Paul Cassell (University of Utah School of Law), Avlana Eisenberg (Boston University School of Law), Erik Encarnacion (University of Texas School of Law), Adam Gershowitz (William and Mary Law), David Gray (University of Maryland Carey School of Law), Kay Levine (Emory University School of Law), Rachel Lopez (Drexel Kline School of Law), Marah McLeod (Notre Dame School of Law), Mark Osler (University of St. Thomas School of Law), Alice Ristroph (Brooklyn Law), Carol Steiker (Harvard Law), Jordan Steiker (University of Texas School of Law), and Ekow Yankah (University of Michigan School of Law).


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