The topic of the death penalty has always sparked a fierce debate. Should it be an “ultimum remedium” for major crimes or should humanity prevail? A debate on morality, justice and right vs. wrongdoing.

Since 1983 the death penalty has been officially abolished in the Netherlands, as is the case for all European countries with the exception of Belarus. However 60 percent of the world’s population lives in countries – as for example the USA, China and Egypt – that retain capital punishment: death. Do you think that in some cases sentencing someone to death is the right thing to do? Can some crimes not be redeemed? And when is someone’s guilt rightfully proven?

Especially in the case of wrongful sentencing to death, the death penalty raises a lot of questions. In this lecture Merel Pontier of the Clinton Young Foundation talks about the complexities and injustices in death penalty cases. The lecture will elaborate on the case of Clinton Young, a case about a man that the foundation believes has been wrongfully sentenced to death in Texas, The United States. Clinton Young has been convicted to for two capital murders, which occurred in November 2001. Since then he has been has been on Death Row for more than 16 years. In 2017 his execution was halted a week before he was set to die after new scientific evidence and witness statements were presented.

The program will be moderated by mr. dr. Jolande uit Beijerse (Associate Professor Criminal Justice and judge at Criminal Court of Rotterdam). After the lecture there will be room for discussion.

Merel Pontier studied criminal law at the Erasmus University and works for the prosecutor’s office in The Netherlands. After working at a law firm specialized in capital punishment in The United States, working on numerous capital cases and visiting clients on death row, she entered the Clinton Young Foundation in 2017 as a board member. The goal of this foundation is to raise awareness of injustices in death penalty cases and to prevent the execution of death row inmates in The United States by offering and spreading relevant information, doing research, and providing financial resources and legal assistance.

This program is a collaboration between the JFR (Juridical Study Association Rotterdam) and Studium Generale.

More information
Date: Monday 8 April 2019
Time: 19.30 – 21.30 hours (Doors open: 19.00)
Location: Erasmus Paviljoen

Ticket information
: free, registration recommended

Check out the Facebook event here!