“Visualizing Capital Punishment” Exhibit Closes Soon!

Come visit, or revisit, the Library’s exhibit, “Visualizing Capital Punishment: Spectacle, Shame, and Sympathy,” before it closes at the end of July 2023. It’s on view weekdays 9 to 5 in the Library’s Caspersen Room, and is open to all HUID holders. If you can’t make it, visit the online version of the exhibit, which will remain up indefinitely. Learn more about the exhibit here.

Announcement for “Visualizing Capital Punishment” exhibit

Also on view through July, as a companion to the exhibit, are four recently acquired photographs by Boston photographer Lou Jones. They are part of his series, “Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row,” in which he and his team photographed and interviewed 27 people on death rows throughout the country. View the four photographs (and others) on Jones’s website; here are links to their Harvard Library catalog records: Abdullah Bashir, Lester Kills On Top, Pamela Lynn Perillo, and Robert West. And here are some of the photographs as they appear on display in the Caspersen Room:

Photograph of Lester Kills On Top by Lou Jones, 1995, on display in a wall case in the Caspersen Room, HLS Library. HOLLIS 8001699219.
A wall of six exhibit cases in the HLS Library’s Caspersen Room. Two photographs taken by Lou Jones, of Robert West and Lester Kills On Top, are displayed in the lower halves of the center cases, with rows of books in the top halves. The other cases feature a mix of books, portraits, and artifacts.

During the past year, we offered a series of programs to coincide with the exhibit. If you didn’t have a chance to catch them, you can view most of them online on HLS’s YouTube channel:

  • “Capital Punishment: Where We Stand” featured a conversation and exhibit viewing with HLS professor Carol Steiker (October 12, 2022; not recorded)
  • Death Penalty Defense Work” featured a zoom conversation among HLS alumni Mike Admirand, William Ahee, Megan Barnes, Julianne Hill, Nora McDonnell, and Jules Welsh, moderated by HLS professor Carol Steiker (November 15, 2022)
  • Scholars and Artists Discuss the Death Penalty” featured a conversation among photographer Lou Jones, artist Antonio Martorell, and scholar John Bessler, moderated by HLS professor Martha Minow (March 7, 2023)
  • Fifty Years After Furman: The Death Penalty in America” featured a conversation among scholars Mugambi Jouet, Corinna Lain, and Michael Meltsner, moderated by HLS professor Carol Steiker (March 22, 2023)
  • Capital Punishment Clinic Students Share Their Work” featured a conversation among current clinic students Robert Clinton, Kellen Dugan, Natalie Leitman, and Charles Sonenclar, moderated by former clinic student Fjora Arapi (April 3, 2023)
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