Dr. Scott Christianson, a renowned investigative journalist, author and human rights activist, will deliver the 14th annual Henry Schwarzschild Memorial Lecture, a discussion and critique of capital punishment and the criminal justice system, on Oct. 4 at Manhattanville College in Purchase.
The event is co-sponsored by the New York Civil Liberties Union's Lower Hudson Valley Chapter and the Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action.
Dr. Christianson has devoted his life to the study of the criminal justice system, prisons and capital punishment. He has directed numerous research projects and taught at several universities, including the University at Albany, Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Empire State College and Bard College.
He also has held prominent positions in the state's justice system, including director of prison investigations.
His books include "Condemned: Inside the Sing, Sing Death House," which exposed the inner workings of Sing Sing Correction Facility -- the state prison in Ossining that housed the electric chair. He has written books examining the history of imprisonment in the United States, wrongful convictions and forensic science.
Christianson's work inspired acclaimed stage performer Goldee Greene's new musical drama, "Sugarwoman," about Helen Fowler, executed at Sing Sing in 1944. Greene will perform an excerpt from the play as part of the program.
A lifelong civil libertarian, Henry Schwarzschild was a longtime NYCLU board member. As executive director of the Lawyers' Constitutional Defense Committee in the 1960s, Schwarzschild recruited and dispatched attorneys to represent Freedom Riders and civil rights protesters arrested in the Deep South. Later, he served on the staff of the ACLU and as director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
The event is free and open to the public and will take place 4-7 p.m. at Reid Castle on Purchase Street at Manhattanville College in Purchase.
For more information, call NYCLU, Lower Hudson Valley Chapter, at (914) 997-7479.