|Henry Schwarzchild and Watt Espy, circa 1987.|
Watt wrote hundreds of letters to libraries, historians and organizations throughout the
, seeking information. One of the organizations he wrote to in the
mid-1970s was the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. . His letters to the ACLU fell into the hands of the Director of their
Capital Punishment Project, Henry Schwarzschild (1926-1996), a man who stands
second to none on the list of contributors to the anti-death penalty movement in
the last half of the twentieth century. To say the least, Schwarzschild was curious
about who this New York native was who was so interested in
the death penalty. In 1976, he arranged
to meet Watt in Headland. Schwarzschild
was immediately struck by Espy’s work, his impeccable data collection methods,
his persistence, and his knowledge. He
quickly realized the importance of the project.
And so he began to call friends at the Alabama , and convinced them to hire Espy
as a clerk in the library at the University of Alabama Law School. Consequently, in August 1977, Espy and his
collection moved 200 miles northwest to University of Alabama , where he made his home for the next
8 ½ years. Until his death in 1996, Schwarzschild was
Watt Espy’s strongest supporter. We
would not be here tonight honoring Watt Espy had it not been for the invaluable
support that Watt received from Henry. Tuscaloosa
- Excerpt from an essay written by Michael Radelet, Professor of Sociology at University of Colorado at Boulder and death penalty expert. To read full essay, click here. To see Radelet deliver a speech using this very essay, go to Watty Espy under categories in the right sidebar and search for the dedication ceremony of Watt's archive at the University of New York at Albany (UAlbany).
 For a discussion of some of Schwarzschild’s contributions, see Herbert H. Haines, Against Capital Punishment: The Anti-Death Penalty Movement in
 Jay Reevs, Execution Chronicler the Final Punishment (sic),
Sun, Sept. 20, 1987. Gainesville
Above is a letter Henry Schwarzchild wrote to Watt Espy in 1980, assisting, encouraging, supporting and advising him. If you need more evidence for the kind of person Schwarzchild was, simply click here for something pretty profound. And, for a short clip of Schwarzchild on Firing Line, click here.
|Henry Schwarzchild and Michael Radelet, circa 1987.|
In the '80s, Mike Radelet was a professor of sociology at The University of Florida in Gainsville. He and Watt Espy had both a unique friendship and a collaborative working relationship that lasted until Espy's death in 2009. To see what activities Radelet is up to nowadays, click here.