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On Demand

Arbitrary Death – A Prosecutor’s Perspective On The Death Penalty

Total Credits: 1.5 CLE, 0.5 Ethics

Average Rating:
Criminal Litigation
Lori J Lefferts |  Laura E Udall |  Rick A Unklesbay
Original Program Date:
Jun 09, 2021


Join Rick Unklesbay and Laura Udall for this in-depth discussion of Unklesbay’s recently published book, “ARBITRARY DEATH – A Prosecutor’s Perspective On The Death Penalty”.
Over a career spanning nearly four decades, Rick Unklesbay tried over one hundred murder cases before juries that ended with sixteen men and women receiving the death sentence. Arbitrary Death depicts some of the most horrific murders in Tucson, Arizona, the author's prosecution of those cases, and how the death penalty was applied. It provides the framework to answer the questions: Why is America the only Western country to still use the death penalty? Can a human-run system treat those cases fairly and avoid unconstitutional arbitrariness?

It is an insider's view from someone who has spent decades prosecuting murder cases and who now argues that the death penalty doesn't work and our system is fundamentally flawed.

With a rational, balanced approach, Unklesbay depicts cases that represent how different parts of the criminal justice system are responsible for the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and work against the fair application of the law. The prosecution, trial courts, juries, and appellate courts all play a part in what ultimately is a roll of the dice as to whether a defendant lives or dies.

Arbitrary Death is for anyone who wonders why and when its government seeks to legally take the life of one of its citizens. It will have you questioning whether you can support a system that applies death as an arbitrary punishment -- and often decades after the sentence was given.
Rick Unklesbay, Attorney and Author

Lori J. Lefferts, Attorney
Laura E. Udall, 
Cooper and Udall



Laura E Udall Related Seminars and Products

Laura E. Udall PLLC

Laura Udall is a criminal defense attorney in private practice in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. She attended the University of California at Berkeley for her undergraduate degree and received her law degree from the University of Utah. Following law school she clerked for the Honorable Alfredo Marquez for District Court in Arizona. She then went to work at the Pima County Public Defender for 4 years. In 1992 she and Dan Cooper opened their firm, Cooper and Udall PC, and practiced together until 2021 when she opened her solo firm Laura E. Udall PLLC. Laura has tried over 110 cases to jury verdict. She is qualified as learned counsel for capital work in both Federal and State jurisdictions. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona teaching trial advocacy since 2010. Laura was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2017.

Rick A Unklesbay Related Seminars and Products

began as a prosecutor in 1981 with the Pima County Attorney's Office and retired in 2021. In that time he has served as a deputy county attorney, supervisor of violent crimes, Chief Trial Counsel and Chief Criminal Deputy. Currently he runs a program in the office called the Conviction Integrity Unit in which claims of innocence are evaluated and resolved. In his career Mr. Unklesbay has tried over 100 first degree murder cases to jury including more than 20 that were tried as death penalty cases.



Overall:      4.3

Total Reviews: 4


Steven B

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