Elisabeth Semel

Elisabeth Semel Explains Impact of Jury Selection on Death Penalty Cases

KALW News, November 18, 2009 by Rina Palta

“From a defense attorney’s standpoint, Semel said, “you end up with a jury that’s not only able to impose the death penalty, but people who are for the death penalty tend to be more pro-prosecution” and presumably, more likely to convict in the first place. In a society increasingly opposed to the death penalty, you’re excluding from juries some 40 or 50 percent of people who would be otherwise qualified,” she said.

Elisabeth Semel Approves Ohio’s Death Penalty Procedure, with Caveat

Los Angeles Times, November 14, 2009 by Carol J. Williams

“Ohio has taken an important step by abandoning the barbaric practice of paralyzing inmates before executing them,” said Elisabeth Semel, a law professor…. Semel added, however, that more medical information will be needed before courts can determine whether the one-drug method satisfies the 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Elisabeth Semel Points Out Murder Suspect’s Right to Counsel

San Francisco Chronicle, August 20, 2009 by Demian Bulwa

“Death penalty cases are the most challenging, complex cases,” said Elisabeth Semel, who directs the death penalty clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law. “In my experience,” she said, “individuals who want to represent themselves are often lacking the legal skill to do so and have profound emotional problems.”

Jesse Choper and Elisabeth Semel Note Rise in Jurists’ Death Penalty Dissents

The New York Times, August 13, 2009 by John Schwartz

Jesse H. Choper, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said the judge was hardly a fierce opponent of capital punishment. “I don’t see him as someone who is unexceptionally opposed,” Mr. Choper said.

Elisabeth A. Semel, director of the Death Penalty Clinic at Berkeley, which trains lawyers to defend people facing the death penalty, said many jurists had been shaken by the rise of exonerations due to DNA evidence. “I think it’s been shattering to judges who had a fair amount of confidence in the system,” she said.

Elisabeth Semel Bemoans the Financial Cost of California’s Death Penalty

The Sacramento Bee, May 17, 2009 by Elisabeth Semel

For decades, Democratic and Republican candidates for governor in California have stepped over each other to prove their capital punishment credentials. But public support for the death penalty has dropped dramatically in this state. When money is in short supply here, we would be well served if courage and leadership were not.

Elisabeth Semel Interprets Supreme Court Ruling on Lethal Injection

Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2009 by James Oliphant

Elisabeth Semelֽ a law professor and director of the Death Penalty Clinic at UC Berkeley who helped bring the challenge to Kentucky’s lethal-injection proceduresֽ said the court’s opinion made it clear that states can be forced to institute alternative lethal-injection procedures if they can be proven to alleviate a substantial risk of severe pain to the inmate.