HLS Library Book Talk | When Should Law Forgive?

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The Harvard Law School Library recently celebrated Martha Minow’s latest book, “When Should Law Forgive?” with a panel discussion featuring colleagues from Harvard Law School and Harvard University.

Crimes and violations of the law require punishment, and our legal system is set up to punish, but what if the system was recalibrated to also weigh grounds for forgiveness? What if something like bankruptcy—a fresh start for debtors—were available to people convicted of crimes? In “When Should Law Forgive?” Minow explores the complicated intersection of the law, justice, and forgiveness, asking whether the law should encourage people to forgive, and when courts, public officials, and specific laws should forgive.

Minow was joined on the panel by:

– Homi K. Bhabha, the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities in the department of English, director of the Mahindra Humanities Center and senior advisor on the Humanities to the President and Provost at Harvard University;
– Toby Merrill, lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending, part of the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School (LSC);
– Carol Steiker, Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School; and
– Dehlia Umunna, clinical professor of law and faculty deputy director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School.

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