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Brodin Separates Fact From Fiction at Panel on Massachusetts Death Penalty

2013 news archive


Newton, MA—BC Law professor Mark Brodin spoke at a panel event on January 9 at the Social Law Library in Boston. The event, “The Death Penalty in Massachusetts: Past, Present and Future in Fact and Fiction” was sponsored by the The
 William P. Homans, Jr. Endowment of the Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society.

The program offered three perspectives on the death penalty in Massachusetts, animated by reminiscences of a beloved icon of the Massachusetts Bar, the late William P. Homans, Jr., whose ardent opposition to capital punishment was central to the Supreme Judicial Court’s ultimate decision to bar it in the Commonwealth.

Brodin, author of William P. Homans Jr.: A Life in Court, discussed Bill Homans' successful decades-long campaign against the death penalty in the courts of the Commonwealth.

Other speakers included U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor and ACLU of Massachusetts legislative counsel Ann K. Lambert. Judge Ponsor worked for Bill Homans for two years as a young lawyer, and his recently published debut novel, The Hanging Judge, anchors its plot on a fictional capital trial arising from a drive-by shooting in Holyoke and models the book’s defense attorney on Bill Homans.

Lambert worked with Bill Homans in both the legislative and judicial arenas to oppose the death penalty.

The panel was followed by a reception, where Judge Ponsor and Professor Brodin signed copies of their books.