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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
University honour for death row lawyer
Clive Stafford Smith
Clive Stafford Smith: Devoted to fighting the death penalty
A British lawyer is being honoured for his work fighting the death penalty in America.

Clive Stafford Smith is being presented with an honorary Doctorate of Law by the University of Wolverhampton on Tuesday.

The lawyer is a passionate opponent of capital punishment.

He has spent more than 20 years campaigning against the death penalty and representing condemned prisoners in courts in the United States.

Human rights champion

Mr Stafford Smith dates his opposition to the death penalty back to a childhood history lesson when he was revolted by the thought of Joan of Arc burning at the stake.

Four of his clients have been executed but hundreds of others have been kept from death row through pleas, acquittals or appeals.

Execution chamber
Many states use "lethal injections"
His work has included the award-winning BBC documentary 14 Days in May which followed events in the final days of a death row inmate's life.

Robert Clark, dean of the School of Legal Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, said Mr Stafford Smith was being honoured for his work championing human rights.

"Mr Stafford Smith has made many personal sacrifices in pursuit of his goal and relinquished many of the material things which most of us take for granted in our daily lives in his fight against capital punishment," he said.

Mr Stafford Smith was awarded an OBE last October for his humanitarian work.

The lawyer is also the founder of Reprieve, a British charity which provides legal representation and humanitarian assistance to people sentenced to death in the United States and in Caribbean countries.

See also:

08 Dec 99 | Americas
Murder case Briton seeks retrial
29 Oct 97 | Americas
British businessman off death row
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