Elisabeth Semel Papers, 1977-2012
- Semel, Elisabeth A.
- Elisabeth Semel's papers primarily consist of articles published from the 1990s to early 2000s used by Semel in her research and work concerning the death penalty.
- 8.66 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Elisabeth Semel Papers, 1977-2012. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Semel Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
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.
- Scope and Content:
Semel's papers, for the most part, contain articles about the death penalty published over the last few decades. The articles cover either specific state or federal cases, or issues related to the death penalty such as race, mental illness, or public opinion. The collection also includes court transcripts from select cases, and a couple of surveys performed regarding the death penalty.
The collection has been divided into two series; one for specific cases arranged by state and the other for topics related to the death penalty. Within Series 1, all federal cases have been placed under "Federal" first, then arranged alphabetically by the title of the file.
- Biographical / Historical:
Elisabeth A. Semel began her law career when she graduated from the School of Law at the University of California, Davis in 1975. She practiced privately from 1980 to 1997, working solo until she created Semel and Feldman as a partner in 1983. In 1997 she began serving as the director of the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project in Washington, D.C., where she remained until 2001.
When Semel left D.C., she returned to California to become an Acting Clinical Professor at Law at Berkeley Law. In 2005 she became the first director of the Berkeley Law Death Penalty Clinic, and a Clinical Professor at Law, positions that she holds today. At the Clinic, Semel supervises students who represent clients facing the death penalty during all stages of the proceedings. Her research focuses on the role of race in the administration of the death penalty, and includes representation in juries.
Over the course of her career, Semel has published many articles and opinion pieces on the subject of the death penalty and related criminal justice topics. She often comments in mainstream media on current death penalty topics and issues, particularly the rights of those facing a death sentence. She has received several awards including the Outstanding Legal Service Award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in 2008, and most recently the Death Penalty Focus Abolition Award in 2011.
- Acquisition information:
Donated by Elisabeth Semel2012.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2015 by Sharon Wolff.