Processed in 2008 by John Grayshaw, April 2008.
All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Hugo A. Bedau in 2002.
Access to this record group is unrestricted. Please contact Department staff for further information.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Hugo A. Bedau Papers, 1957-1984. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
Hugo A. Bedau (Ph.D., Harvard, 1961) is a commentator, scholar, and activist for the abolition of capital punishment. He is a prominent spokesperson in the abolitionist movement and well-known for his scholarship and writing concerning the death penalty and the challenge to separate logical arguments from moral arguments.
Bedau completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Redlands in 1949, did his graduate work at Boston University, and attained his doctorate in 1961 from Harvard University. [Who's Who in America. 62nd ed. 2008]. Before getting his doctorate, Bedau worked as an instructor and lecturer at Dartmouth College and Princeton University as his growing interest in death penalty issues led to an offer to serve on the Board of Directors of the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment. In 1961, Bedau completed the doctoral program and was soon hired as an Associate Professor at Reed College where he stayed from 1962-1966. During this time he published his first book,The Death Penalty in America: An Anthology(1962), that is currently in its 4th edition.
In 1966, Bedau was hired as Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University where spent the next thirty-three years as he helped found the Center for the Study of Decision Making. Among his scholarly work, Bedau is the author of theCourts, the Constitution and Capital Punishment(1977);Death is Different(1987); co-author,In Spite of Innocence(1992); editor,Civil Disobedience in Focus(1991);Current Issues and Enduring Questions(4th edition, 1996); co-editor,Capital Punishment in the United States(1976); and a contributor to many other volumes. He has also written books about writing such asCritical Thinking, Reading, and Writing(2nd edition, 1996). His Romanell - Phi Beta Kappa lectures delivered at Tufts in the spring of 1995, were published by Oxford University Press under the title,Making Moral Choices. [Hugo Adam Bedau. Tufts Philosophy http://ase.tufts.edu/philosophy/people/bedau.shtml]. In addition, he has published hundreds of articles, essays, and commentaries on capital punishment.
In addition to his scholarship, Bedau has been active in the capital punishment abolition movement for many decades. He was the chairman of the board for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) and a board member for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment and several other organizations. He has also been a long time member of the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty (MCADP) and an active member of such organizations as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Amnesty International, the American Philosophical Association, American Association of University Professors, and the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. Bedau has frequently testified before state and federal legislative committees as an expert on the issue of capital punishment and has advocated for Death Row inmates, such as Harold "Wili" Otey who was executed in 1994 in Nebraska.
Bedau married his second wife Constance Elizabeth Putnam in 1990. In 1992, she co-authoredIn Spite of Innocencewith Bedau and Michael Radelet. [Who's Who in America. 62nd ed. 2008]. Bedau has four children from his first marriage: Lauren, Mark Adam, Paul Hugo, and Guy Anthony, as well as four grandchildren. [Who's Who in America. 62nd ed. 2008 and Hugo Adam Bedau. Tufts Philosophy http://ase.tufts.edu/philosophy/people/bedau.shtml]. After retiring from Tufts in 1999, Bedau has continued writing, speaking and working for the abolition of capital punishment.
On August 13, 2012 Hugo Bedau passed away at the age of 85. [New York Times Obituary. Last accessed September 24, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/us/hugo-bedau-philosopher-who-opposed-death-penalty-dies-at-85.html].
Chronology of Events :
|1926||Born in Portland, Oregon on September 23|
|1944||Graduated from high school in San Francisco|
|1944||Entered the Naval Officer Training at the University of Southern California|
|1949||Received a bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) from the University of Redlands in California|
|1951||Received a master's degree from Boston University|
|1952||Married Jan Lisbeth Peterson Mastin (Divorced 1988)|
|1953||Received a second master's degree from Harvard|
|1953-1954||Instructor at Dartmouth|
|1954-1957||Instructor at Princeton|
|1958-1961||Lecturer at Princeton|
|1959||Began serving on the Board of Directors of the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment (he served until 1972)|
|1961||Received a Ph. D from Harvard, he also did graduate work at Boston University|
|1961-1962||Liberal Arts Fellow in Law and Philosophy Harvard University Law School.|
|1962-1966||Associate Professor at Reed College|
|1964||Published his first bookThe Death Penalty in America. In 1997, a 4 th edition of the book was published.|
|1967-1997||Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University|
|1969-1972||President of the American League to Abolish Capital Punishment (Served until 1972)|
|1980||Visiting Life Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University|
|1981||Served as Vice President of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy.|
|1981||Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Natal in South Africa|
|1984-1998||Served on the Board of Directors of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Massachusetts|
|1987||Served as Vice President of the ACLU, Massachusetts|
|1988||Visiting fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.|
|1989||Received the Abolitionist Award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty|
|1990||Married Constance Elizabeth Putnam|
|1990-1993||Chairman, Board for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP)|
|1994||Visiting Professor of Law at University of Westminster, London.|
|1994-5||Received the Phi-Beta Kappa Romanell Professorship in Philosophy|
|1997||Received the August Vollmer Award from the American Society of Criminology|
|1997-1999, 2003-2004||Honorary Research Fellow -Bantham Project- University of London|
The Hugo A. Bedau Papers encompasses a lifetime of research, scholarship, and political activism regarding the issue of capital punishment. All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries' M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives by Hugo A. Bedau in 2002 as part of the National Death Penalty Archive. The collection is arranged into four series: Series 1: Scholarship and Teaching; Series 2: Correspondence; Series 3: Advocacy Organization; and Series 4: Subject Files.
The Bedau Papers are a valuable resource to scholars, students and historians studying the controversial and politically volatile subject of capital punishment from 1955 -2002. The records in this collection reflect Bedau's commitment as a leading academic and activist challenging the fundamental legality of the death penalty. The entire collection, totaling nearly 37 cubic feet, contains Bedau's drafts, reprints, correspondence, writings and unpublished work, conference materials, newsletters, records from advocacy organizations, and capital punishment case files.
Series 1 is devoted to Bedau's scholarly writings including manuscripts, journal articles, book chapters, opinion pieces, and transcripts of testimonies Bedau gave to state and federal legislatures. Of note are unpublished works such as drafts, notes, studies, proposals, reports, conference papers, lectures, grant proposals and reports. This series also features Bedau and Michael Radelet'sMiscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Casesincluding drafts, professional critiques, testimonies, correspondence, notes, and news clippings.
Series 2 contains a tremendous amount of correspondence with many of Bedau's colleagues such as: Anthony Amsterdam, William Bowers, Peggy Davis, Watt Espy, Gerald Gottlieb, David Kendall, Douglas Lyons, Philip Mackey, Michael Radelet, Marc Riedel, Victor Streib, Neil Vidmar, Marvin Wolfgang, and Franklyn Zimring. This series begins in 1957 and continues for Bedau's entire career.
Reflecting Bedau's work with abolition organizations, Series 3 contains minutes of meetings, project files, newsletters, press packets, correspondence, event and conference material for many abolitionist groups such as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty (MCADP), Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Legal Defense Fund. The collection also contains various newsletters, press packets, correspondence, and information about many other regional organizations including: the Alabama Committee to Abolish the Death Penalty, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, Detention Ministry and the Colorado Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Series 4 contains research material and newspaper clippings collected by Bedau and covers more than 40 years of capital punishment issues and cases of interest to him. This series closely follows Bedau's original arrangement schemes of organization by location, case and subject and contains a diverse collection of news clippings, journal articles, and court decisions.
This series contains drafts and reprints of the works of Hugo Bedau. They are organized first by format and then alphabetically by title. Formats include journal articles, newspaper articles, pamphlets, book chapters, lectures, and encyclopedia articles. Also included are materials related to various conferences Bedau attended.
This subseries contains drafts and reprints of journal articles written by Bedau.
This subseries contains drafts and reprints of shorter published works written by Bedau.
Also published as "Still Cruel and Unusual",The Nation, 1975.
This subseries contains drafts of works by Bedau and hand written notes which he may or may not have later published.
This subseries contains drafts of academic papers, grant proposals and reports. This subseries also features Bedau and Michael Radelet'sMiscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Cases. This section includes: drafts, professional critiques, testimonies, correspondence, notes, and news clippings.
Testimony before House and Senate Judiciary committees by Paul Cassell, April, July 1993. Testimony before US Senate by Hugo Bedau, Aug. 1993.
This subseries contains drafts of chapters on capital punishment that Bedau contributed to various books.
This subseries contains drafts of forwards and postscripts that Bedau wrote for colleagues' books.
This subseries contains transcripts of expert testimonies on Capital Punishment that Bedau gave to various federal and state lawmakers.
This subseries contains drafts and reprints of scholarly reviews which Bedau has written about various works on Capital Punishment.
Review ofCruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishmentby Michael Meltsner.
Contemporary Psychology. Review of The Ultimate Coercive Sanction: A Cross-cultural Study of Capital Punishment by Keith Otterbein and Capital Punishment and the American Agenda by Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins.
Review of Judicial Review of the Death Penalty by David Pannick, 1982.
Review of Capital Punishment: Crime and Morality of the Death Penalty by Walter Berns.
Review of The Penalty of Death by Thorsten Sellin.
This subseries contains drafts and reprints of the ACLU pamphletThe Case Against the Death Penaltywhich Bedau wrote in 1973 and has updated four times.
This subseries contains drafts of articles which Bedau contributed to various encyclopedias.
This subseries contains drafts and reprints of articles about Bedau and also contains awards Bedau received, pictures and other personal memorabilia.
This subseries contains lectures and addresses that Bedau gave at various classrooms, meetings, and conferences.
Bedau - Keynote Speaker.
This subseries contains various capital punishment resources that Bedau shared with his students. There are also some materials not by Bedau.
Some Syllabi not by Bedau.
This subseries consists of materials related to various conferences which Bedau attended, but does not include any works by Bedau.
This subseries contains correspondence organized alphabetically by name. Bedau corresponded with colleagues from other universities and colleges, researchers, students whom Bedau was mentoring or assisting, advocacy organizations, and with publishers regarding involvement with various literary projects. Correspondence includes communication with many of Bedau's colleagues including: Anthony Amsterdam, William Bowers, Peggy Davis, Watt Espy, Gerald Gottlieb, David Kendall, Douglas Lyons, Philip Mackey, Michael Radelet, Marc Riedel, Victor Streib, Neil Vidmar, Marvin Wolfgang, and Franklyn Zimring.
This subseries contains routine and general correspondence organized chronologically by year.
This subseries contains Bedau's correspondence with publishers and researchers regarding some of his publications. It is organized alphabetically by title of publication. The final section in this series concerns the Harold Otey case. Bedau was a strong advocate for freeing Otey. The correspondence includes letters to and from Nebraska's governor, Otey's lawyer, and Otey himself. Also included are academic works, a transcript of his commutation hearing and appeals and newspaper articles.
Folders contain correspondence with publishers, researchers, etc.
Edited and Introduction by Hugo Bedau and Chester M. Pierce (See also: Capital Punishment issue of American Journal of Othopsychiatry, 1975).
For 1971 revision.
This series contains a diverse collection of material regarding Bedau's participation in many advocacy organizations opposing capital punishment. These organizations include: the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP), Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty (MCADP), Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Legal Defense Fund (LDF). Since Bedau was on the Board of many of these organizations, the folders contain the minutes of meetings, projects, events, and conferences.
This subseries contains chronologically arranged materials related to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty including copies of the NCADP newsletter Lifelines, from 1981-1999.
This subseries contains chronologically arranged materials related to the MCADP.
This subseries contains chronologically arranged materials related to the Legal Defense Fund, including the newsletter,Death Row UNITED STATES.
Defenders/California Appellate Project (CAP). It was originally entitled theDeath Penalty Updatebut its name was changed to theRECAP Newsletterin 1984. Also in this subseries are four copies of theDeath Penalty Information Bankpublished in 1983, 1984, 2000-2001, and 2002-2003.
This subseries contains alphabetically arranged materials related to various advocacy groups including Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union. There are also folders labeled "Various Organizations" which contains materials from many organizations including: the Alabama Committee to Abolish the Death Penalty, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, Detention Ministry and the Colorado Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
This series contains news clippings, pamphlets, court documents, academic papers, bibliographies, reports, journals articles, and newsletters about capital punishment that Bedau devoted his life towards studying. Some of the material is organized by the name of the defendant in a capital punishment case; some is organized by state or country, and some is organized by subject. This series contains a diverse amount of media formats including VHS and cassette tapes.
This subseries contains various material organized alphabetically by subject. Topics include capital punishment as a deterrent, race, innocence and wrongful convictions.
Journal Articles, 1970-1974 / News articles, 1971.
This subseries contains material related to various capital punishment cases. They are arranged alphabetically. They contain newspaper clippings and court decisions.
This subseries contains material organized alphabetically by place. The first section is material related to the United States, the next is divided by individual state, and the third is about foreign counties.
Also transcript of Judiciary Committee, February 15, 1973.
This subseries contains VHS and cassette tapes on the subject of capital punishment.