Last updated on: 1/31/2017 | Author: ProCon.org

Barack Obama, JD Biography

Title:
44th US President
Position:
Pro to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?"
Reasoning:

“While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes- mass murder, the rape and murder of a child- so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.”

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, 2006

[Editor’s Note: Barack Obama confirmed his Pro position in a May 2, 2014 news conference, “Remarks by President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel in Joint Press Conference,” available at whitehouse.gov, in which he stated: “I’ve said in the past that there are certain circumstances in which a crime is so terrible that the application of the death penalty may be appropriate – mass killings, the killings of children.”]

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • 44th US President, Jan. 20, 2009-Jan. 20, 2017
  • Recipient, Nobel Peace Prize, 2009
  • US Senator (D-IL), 2005-2009
  • Recipient, Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album (for the audiobook edition of his book The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream), 2008
  • Member, Environment and Public Works Committee, 2005-2006
  • Former member, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
  • Former member, Foreign Relations Committee
  • Former member, Veterans’ Affairs Committee
  • Recipient, Harold Blake Walker Award, Christopher House, 2005
  • Recipient, Rock the Nation Award, Rock the Vote, 2005
  • Member, Illinois State Senate, 1997-2004
  • Civil Rights Attorney, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 1993-2004
  • Recipient, Best Freshman Legislator Award, Independent Voters of Illinois, 1997
  • Community Organizer, Chicago, 1985
  • Former Senior Lecturer, Constitutional Law, University of Chicago Law School
Education:
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1991
  • BA, Political Science, Columbia University, 1983
Other:
  • First African-American President of the United States
  • First US President to chair a session of the United Nations Security Council
  • First African-American President of the Harvard Law Review
  • First US President born in Hawaii, and first US President born outside the continental United States
  • Named Person of the Year (2008) and one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World (2005) by TIME Magazine
  • Named one of the 10 People Who Will Change the World, New Statesman, 2005
  • Recipient, Outstanding Legislator Award, Campaign for Better Health Care and Illinois Primary Health Care Association, 1998
  • Recipient, Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service, 1994
  • Recipient, 40 Under 40 Award, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1993
  • Married Michelle Robinson, JD, on Oct. 3, 1992
  • Has two children, Malia Ann (born 1998) and Natasha (“Sasha,” born 2001)
  • Legal name is Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.
  • Born at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, Honolulu, HI on Aug. 4, 1961
Quoted in:
  1. Does a Person's Race Affect the Likelihood of Receiving the Death Penalty?