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.”]

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to death penalty issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to death penalty issues.
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?