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Professor Koosed provides an introduction to the symposium on the fortieth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lockett v. Ohio, which discusses the backstory and import of the case. The decision in Lockett laid the framework for narrowing application of the death penalty by overturning Ohio’s 1974 era death penalty law, and heralding the significance and breadth of mitigating factors that must be considered by jurors and judges making the life or death decision in the penalty phase of capital cases, and tapped in to issues of disproportionate sentencing (those decided and yet to be).