Friday, October 28, 2011
On behalf of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal, I would like to invite you to participate in the Law Journal's upcoming spring symposium, the subject of which will be the pardon power as it relates to state and federal sentence commutations. The purpose of this symposium is threefold: first, to discuss the historical significance of the pardon power and the growing executive timidity towards its use; second, to evaluate the contemporary trends and motivations driving the use, or nonuse, of the pardon power; and third, to explore the potential for future development of the pardon power as a functional and accessible executive instrument—whether an act of policy, an act of reason, or an act of grace.
In pursuit of a diverse and informed perspective, the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief and I have been working closely with Professor Mark Osler to organize experienced and preeminent scholars, practicing attorneys, and former governors to lecture on the subject. Contributors will be divided into a series of panels focusing on the focal points mentioned above: history, currency, and ambition. We are committed to the whole picture: from pro-clemency to pro-finality; from practitioners, to politicians, to pundits. Your particularly broad experience will offer practical context and a concrete underpinning for this discussion.
The symposium will be held on Friday, April 20, 2012, at the St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. We would expect you to speak for approximately 20-25 minutes. Additionally, the Journal requests its speakers to write an article for publication. I am familiar with your body of work, and such a contribution would be an excellent complement to the articles submitted by our other panelists.
One of the underlying goals of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal traces the school’s unique mission: to integrate faith and reason in the search for truth through a focus on morality and social justice. We intend to continue this pursuit through the presentations and articles written in conjunction with this symposium. Although the Journal has not yet addressed this particular topic, we are excited about the opportunity to do so. Over the last year we have hosted presenters including Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice, and Noah Feldman, Bemis Professor of International Law of Harvard Law School. We would love the opportunity to add your name to the list.
... Finally, I’d like to reiterate both my enthusiasm for the symposium as a whole and my interest in your participation. Not only will we host leading scholars on the pardon power, but attorneys and politicians closely involved with its use. As this is the first symposium of its kind, we expect to set the stage for an elevated national discourse. Come spring, I hope to have you with us.
Alison Ovenden, University of St. Thomas Law Review Editor-in-Chief
Marc Spooner, University of St. Thomas Law Review Editor-in-Chief