An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.  - Gandhi

OK-CADP Hosts Debate & Annual Dinner featuring Center on Wrongful Convictions founder Rob Warden

Rob Warden, co-founder and executive director, Center on Wrongful Convictions.  Photo courtesy Center on Wrongful Convictions.
Rob Warden, co-founder and executive director, Center on Wrongful Convictions. Photo courtesy Center on Wrongful Convictions.

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) recently held two special events, co-hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma’s American Democracy Project at the Nigh University Center on the UCO campus.

A free Debate on “Why & How to Dismantle the Death Penalty” by the outstanding University of Central Oklahoma Debate Team was held in  Constitution Hall.

UCO debate sponsors include the College of Liberal Arts, the UCO American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the Department of Political Science and Sociology and Political Science faculty member, Professor Joe Tripodi.

Following the debate, the OK-CADP 23rd Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Dinner was held at NUC’s Ballrooms A&B.

The dinner’s keynote speaker was Rob Warden, co-founder and executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago.

An award-winning legal affairs writer, Warden is the author of numerous articles and commentaries on criminal justice issues and of four books about miscarriages of justice including A Promise of Justice (Hyperion, 1998), and True Stories of False Confessions (forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in 2009).

After more than three decades as a journalist, investigative reporter, foreign correspondent, columnist, and editor at the Chicago Daily News and the editor and publisher of Chicago Lawyer, Warden joined with Northwestern University Law Professor Lawrence C. Marshall to start the Center on Wrongful Convictions in 1999.

Dedicated to identifying and rectifying wrongful convictions and other miscarriages of justice, the Center has been instrumental in more than 30 exonerations. It also led the public education effort that culminated in Governor George Ryan’s decision to grant clemency to all Illinois death row prisoners in 2003.

Warden has won more than 50 journalism awards, including the Medill School of Journalism’s John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism and two American Civil Liberties Union James McGuire Awards. In 2003 he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.

Warden also played an instrumental role in the creation of the National Registry for Exonerations. He will retire as director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions in August 2014 and become executive director emeritus of the center.

“We at the OK-CADP oppose the Death Penalty for variety of reasons, most notably on the basis of our understanding of morality,” Adam Leathers, OK-CADP co-chair said, “The death penalty is an archaic and barbaric means of seeking vengeance and has nothing to do with justice or crime prevention.  We also believe it is far more expensive than alternatives, despite popular belief, and it is overtly racist and works against the poor.”

Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is a grassroots membership organization working to end the death penalty in Oklahoma. We are a statewide organization, which engages in outreach, education, and advocacy aimed at raising awareness of issues related to the death penalty and mobilizing Oklahoma citizens – and their elected officials – to support abolition of the death penalty.

The OK-CADP works with its members for alternatives to the death penalty that will reinvest the time, money and resources spent on trying to get a few people executed into effective crime prevention, support for survivors of homicide victims and solving cold cases.

Watch Rob Warden’s Keynote Speech


Tags: , , , , ,