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Prof Confronts Death Penalty Outside Classroom

Posted Apr 13, 2007 1:02 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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When she was called for jury duty, Theresa A. Severance was pleased. A criminologist and college professor, she looked forward to research insights from her experience serving on the front lines. Then, with amazement and horror, she realized she was in the jury pool for a death penalty case.

"The next week was filled with much soul-searching and dread," she writes in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. "This was, as the judge would later so eloquently state, 'the real deal' and not some abstract classroom discussion. I was appalled at myself for even considering the research potential of my participation if I was selected" -- yet, of course, she did.

For more details on how Severance handled her jury duty and what she learned about the death penalty that she didn't already know despite her extensive academic background, read her law review article, Practicing What I Preach: A Professor in the Venire (PDF).

A tip of the hat to the National Center for State Courts Jur-E Bulletin for bringing this article to our attention.

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