Last updated on: 11/10/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Wendy Lesser, PhD Biography

Title:
Founding Editor of The Threepenny Review
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?"
Reasoning:

“The most persuasive reason I can think of not to televise executions, like the most persuasive reason not to have executions, has to do with the effect on us… I’m thinking of what it would mean about us, the audience, if we allowed someone’s actual murder to become our Theater of Cruelty. The danger of a TV execution is that we would not take it personally… it is possible that instead of making the killing more real to us, the sight of a condemned person dying on TV might only acclimate us further to such violent images.”

Pictures at an Execution: An Inquiry into the Subject of Murder, 1998

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:
  • Founding Editor, The Threepenny Review, 1979-present
  • Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Juror, Pulitzer Prize
  • Former Fellow, New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
  • Former Fellow, American Academy, Berlin
  • Former Fellow, Guggenheim Foundation
  • Former Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Former Fellow, Remarque Institute
  • Recipient, Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for Criticism, American Academy of Arts & Letters
  • Recipient, Jackson/Phelan Award for Nonfiction Prose
Education:
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 1982
  • MA, University of California, Berkeley, 1977
  • MA, King’s College, Cambridge University
  • BA, Harvard University
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Executions Be Made Public?