On March 7, the Harvard Law School Library kicked off a series of events on the subject of capital punishment in connection with their exhibit Visualizing Capital Punishment: Spectacle, Shame, and Sympathy.

This exhibit explores the power of visual imagery to change minds about the death penalty. Drawing from material in the Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections, the exhibit tells a story in three chapters: Spectacle, Shame, and Sympathy. Highlights include English execution broadsides; original political cartoons from a collection recently donated by Harvey Silverglate (HLS 1967); and a modern art portfolio, Contra la Pena de Muerte, by Puerto Rican artist Antonio Martorell.

The event featured a conversation with Martorell, University of Baltimore Law Professor and capital punishment scholar John Bessler, and Boston-based photographer Lou Jones, whose 1997 book “Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row” documented men and women on death rows in the United States over the course of six years. Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor and former dean of Harvard Law School, moderated the discussion.

To learn more about the exhibit and upcoming events, visit the Harvard Law School Library’s exhibit page.

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