Marquette Law School’s annual Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law to discuss the value of victim impact statements, Nov. 6

Nov. 2, 2023

Headshots of Paul Cassell and Edna ErezMILWAUKEE — Paul Cassell, the Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Utah College of Law, and Edna Erez, professor of criminology, law and justice at the University of Illinois Chicago, will deliver Marquette University Law School’s Barrock Lecture on Criminal Law, titled “What Does the Larry Nassar Case Teach Us About the Value of Victim Impact Statements?,” on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 4:30 p.m. at Eckstein Hall, 1215 W. Michigan St.

For almost 20 years, federal and state laws have afforded victims of crime the right to deliver victim impact statements at sentencing. Yet whether crime victims should be allowed to present victim impact statements remains a subject of controversy in the criminal justice literature, and relatively little is known systematically about the content of the statements and how victims approach them.

This lecture will present an important case study based on the sentencing of Larry Nassar, who was convicted in federal court for decades of sexual abuse of hundreds of athletes, mostly minors, while he was treating them for various injuries during his 25 years as the sports physician for the USA Gymnastics team, as well as the athletic department at Michigan State University.

The lecture discusses both the contents of the victim impact statements delivered by more than 100 Nassar victims as well as the broader implications of the findings in the debate over the desirability of victim impact statements.

Registration for the program is required and available online. Media interested in attending the event should contact Kevin Conway, associate director of university communication, at

Cassell is a leading researcher on criminal and civil justice issues and has published many widely cited articles on topics such as crime victims’ rights, wrongful convictions, interrogation and confessions, and proactive policing. He is a former U.S. District Court judge for the District of Utah. 

Erez holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught and written about criminal law in the United States and internationally for more than 40 years.

The Barrock Lecture is supported by a bequest of the late Mary Barrock Bonfield to honor her parents, George and Margaret Barrock. George Barrock was a 1931 graduate of the Law School.

Through public programming such as the Marquette Law School Poll, “On the Issues” conversations with newsmakers, public lectures by leading scholars, conferences on issues of public significance, and the work of its Lubar Center for Public Policy Research and Civic Education, Marquette Law School serves as an important venue in this region for civil discourse about law and public policy matters.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or