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Saturday, October 19 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Violence, Justice, and Forgiveness

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This session deals with complicated issues of crime and forgiveness. Martha Minow, in When Should Law Forgive?, asks whether laws should encourage individuals to forgive and when the law itself should be more forgiving. She points out that debtors (other than holders of student debt) are forgiven through bankruptcy proceedings, so why not a forgiveness process for those convicted of crimes? In The Limits of Blame, Erin I. Kelly argues that our practice of assigning blame goes beyond a pragmatic need for protection or a moral need to condemn harmful acts publicly and represents instead a desire for retribution that normalizes excessive punishment. Thomas Abt looks at crime prevention in Bleeding Out. He asserts that violent crime is by no means a permanent feature of urban life. By identifying the small number of people responsible for the majority of violent crime and deploying support and treatment, homicides and other violent crimes can be reduced dramatically. Our moderator for this conversation on the philosophical and practical issues around crime and punishment is Harvard Law professor Tomiko Brown-Nagin, author of Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement.

avatar for Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Tomiko Brown-Nagin is an American lawyer, an award-winning legal historian, an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy, and an academic administrator and professor. She is the current dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Her work... Read More →

avatar for Martha Minow

Martha Minow

Martha Minow is the 300th University Anniversary Professor in Harvard and a former Dean of Harvard Law School who President Barack Obama calls the “teacher who changed my life.” She is the vice-chair of the Legal Services Corporation that helped launch a program of the UN High... Read More →
avatar for Erin I. Kelly

Erin I. Kelly

Erin I. Kelly is a professor of philosophy at Tufts University. Her research areas are in moral and political philosophy and the philosophy of law including ethics and criminal justice, with a focus on justice, the nature of moral reasons, moral responsibility, and theories of punishment... Read More →
avatar for Thomas Abt

Thomas Abt

Thomas Abt is a senior research fellow with the Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School, where he leads their Security and Development Seminar Series. He is also a senior fellow to the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School and the Igarape Institute... Read More →

Saturday October 19, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm EDT
BPL Rabb Hall 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116