Oral history interview with Anthony G. Amsterdam [electronic resource], 2009.
University Professor, New York University School of Law.
Scope and Contents
Born September 12, 1935, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; early life: father, Gustave G. Amsterdam, lawyer and World War II veteran; mother, Valla Abel; marriage to Lois P. Sheinfeld; memories of 1950s American South and European travels; education: A.B. French Literature, Haverford College, 1957; LL.B., University of Pennsylvania, 1960; career: clerk to Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1960-1961; Assistant District Attorney, District of Columbia, 1961-1962; professor of law, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1962-1969; cooperating attorney and legal advisor, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc, 1963 - present ; Montgomery Professor of Clinical Legal Education, Stanford University Law School, 1969-1981; Professor of Law and Director, Clinical and Advocacy Programs, New York University (NYU), 1981-1988; Director, Lawyering Program, NYU, 1988-1999; Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law, NYU, 1992-1991; University Professor, NYU, 2001 - present; career experiences: Last Aid Kit, 1968-1986; co-director, first empirical studies on racially discriminatory administration of the death penalty, 1965; NAACP LDF death penalty moratorium strategy, 1967-1977; United States Supreme Court: Boykin v. Alabama (1969); Furman v. Georgia (1972); Gregg v. Georgia (1976); McCleskey v. Kemp (1987); career focus: civil rights, criminal procedure, clinical legal education, litigative advocacy, pro bono, court access claims for Guantanamo Bay detainees; discussions: race discrimination, penal code reform, scientific and forensic evidence, Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, state and federal habeas corpus, deterrence arguments, public opinion of capital punishment; reminiscences: history of NAACP LDF, Scottsboro Boys, Civil Rights Movement, judicial prejudice.
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