University of Pittsburgh
October 28, 2003

Pitt to Hold Distinguished Nordenberg Lecture Nov. 13

Focus on Supreme Court decision banning execution of persons with mental retardation
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Richard J. Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, will present the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Distinguished Nordenberg Lecture at noon Nov. 13 in the law school's Teplitz Moot Court Room, 3900 Forbes Ave., in Oakland. The free lecture is open to the public.

Bonnie's lecture is titled "Diagnosis, Diminished Responsibility, and the Death Penalty: Implications of the Supreme Court's Decision Banning Execution of Persons with Mental Retardation."

Also a professor of psychiatric medicine and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, Bonnie has been actively involved in public service throughout his academic career. From 1979 to 1985, he was chair of the State Human Rights Committee, which is responsible for protecting the rights of residents and clients of Virginia's public mental health and mental retardation services system.

In addition, he served from 1981 to 1988 on the advisory board for the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards Project and from 1988 to 1996 on the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mental Health and the Law. He is currently participating in a new MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Mandated Community Treatment. He has served as an advisor to the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Council on Psychiatry and Law since 1979, and received a Special Presidential Commendation in 2003 for his contributions to APA.

In 1991, Bonnie was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been an active participant in the academy's work. He is chairing a National Research Council (NRC)/IOM committee on underage drinking, having previously chaired NRC/IOM committees on elder abuse and neglect from 2001 to 2002, injury prevention from 1997 to 1998, and drug abuse research from 1995 to 1996. In recognition of his many outstanding contributions to IOM and the National Academies, Bonnie was awarded IOM's Yarmolinsky Medal in 2002.

Bonnie is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and a charter fellow of the College on the Problems of Drug Dependence. He has served twice on the board of directors of the college. His numerous awards include APA's 1998 Isaac Ray Award for his contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence.

Bonnie received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1966 and the J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1969, where he graduated first in his class. He teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, mental health and public health, and bioethics.

The lecture, named after Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, former dean of the law school, is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one hour of substantive CLE credit. For more information, e-mail, or visit