Death penalty activist, other speakers highlight annual OPD conference
An address by a renowned death penalty activist will highlight the 2001 Public Defender Conference to be held Friday, May 11 at the Somerset Marriott Hotel in Somerset, Acting Public Defender Peter A. Garcia announced today.
Sister Helen Prejean, the activist immortalized by actress Susan Sarandon in the film "Dead Man Walking," will be the keynote speaker at the conference, which will bring together public defenders from throughout the state in a day of education and recognition for their hard work. The keynote speech is scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m.
Prejean's visit comes at a time of renewed attention to the death penalty as states review their capital-punishment laws to ensure they are applied fairly.
Also speaking during the daylong conference will be Professor Gary Wells, a noted expert in eyewitness identification, who advocates showing witnesses one photo at a time rather than a group of photos as a way of making identification more fair. Also, Federal Magistrate John Hughes will present "ACPR For Trial Attorneys," an entertaining morale-booster for lawyers.
wishing to cover the event, which begins at 9 a.m. should contact Public
Information Officer Jeff Beach at (609) 777-1862. Lunch will be provided.