Last updated on: 2/4/2014 | Author:

Douglas A. Berman, JD Biography

Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law at the Ohio State University
Pro to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“In sum, the heart has its reasons, but also its value. The heart not only explains the death penalty’s persistence, but also justifies it. A complete human, and a humane criminal justice system, need both head and heart. Such a system may well praise the death penalty, rather than burying it. We should certainly educate and critique emotions and their excesses, such as lynchings. Momentary eruptions of anger may cloud reflective emotional judgments. The job of the justice system is to not to stifle or skew emotions, however, but to promote reflective emotional deliberation. We can neither ignore punitive emotions nor assume that enlightened emotional progress will make the death penalty fade into the obscure mists of the past.”

Cowritten with Stephanos Bibas, “The Heart Has Its Value: The Death Penalty’s Justifiable Persistence,” University of Pennsylvania Law School, Scholarship at Penn Law, 2008

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University, Fall 1997-present
  • Owner and Author, Sentencing Law & Policy Blog, Spring 2004-present
  • Co-Founder and Co-Faculty Managing Editor, Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Spring 2002-present
  • Editor, Co-Managing Editor, Federal Sentencing Reporter, Fall 1994-Spring 2001, Summer 2001-present
  • Received the Ohio State Bar Foundation Outstanding Research Award, 2006
  • Litigation Associate, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Fall 1995-Summer 1997
  • Law Clerk to The Honorable Guido Calabresi, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1994-1995
  • Law Clerk to The Honorable Jon O. Newman, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1993-1994
  • JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1993
  • AB, summa cum laude, Philosophy, Princeton University, 1990
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Does Clemency Serve as a Safeguard in Capital Punishment Sentences?