IN MEMORIAM: David Baldus

On June 13, 2011, law professor and noted researcher David Baldus died in Iowa City, IA. Professor Baldus had been a professor at the University of Iowa since 1969 and taught criminal law, anti-discrimination law, and capital punishment and federal criminal law. He was nationally recognized for his research on the death penalty. Professor Baldus conducted many studies regarding the implementation of capital punishment in the United States. One well-known study, conducted in 1983, examined the presence of racial discrimination in capital sentencing in Georgia. Baldus’s research found that the odds of defendants receiving the death penalty were 4.3 times greater if they were accused of killing white victims than if they were accused of killing black victims.  Professor Baldus received national recognition when his studies  were cited in McCleskey v. Kemp, a U.S. Supreme Court case regarding racial bias in the implementation of the death penalty. “He was one of the nation’s outstanding law professors and a great citizen of the university," said Sandy Boyd, former president of the University of Iowa. “He had a great warmth and concern for others.”

(T. Mehaffey, "Long time UI law professor dies Monday after battle with colon cancer," Eastern Iowa News Now, June 13, 2011; Photo from University of Iowa College of Law).  See Race and U.S. Supreme Court.