Austin Sarat Recognized for Pioneering Work Studying the Death Penalty

Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science

Oct. 30, 2009

Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, has been honored with the Hugo A. Bedau Award from Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty and the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service. He formally received the honor “in recognition of his pioneering work and distinguished scholarship in the legal study of capital punishment, specializing in efforts to understand its social, political, and cultural significance in the United States” on Oct. 28 at an awards ceremony in Boston.

The award is named in honor of Hugo Bedau, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, emeritus, at Tufts University. Well-known for his work on capital punishment, Bedau was also an outspoken expert on the topic, frequently testifying before Congress and state legislatures on the issue.

Sarat is an internationally renowned scholar of capital punishment, specializing in efforts to understand its social, political and cultural significance in the United States. He is author or editor of more than 60 books including The Killing State: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics, and Culture, When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition, and The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment: Comparative Perspectives. His public writing has appeared in such places as The Los Angeles Times and The American Prospect, and he has been a commentator or guest on National Public Radio, The News Hour, ABC’s World News Tonight, MSNBC and The O’Reilly Factor.