David C. Baldus, the Joseph B. Tye Professor of Law at the University of
Iowa, died peacefully at home on Monday, June 13, 2011, after a lengthy
battle with cancer. We are grateful for the many years he was our colleague
and we mourn his loss.
Professor Baldus was an outstanding scholar, a beloved teacher, and a
powerful voice for justice. He pioneered the use of statistical methods in
legal research, and he was a world-renowned expert in the administration of
the death penalty in the United States. He continued this important work
until just days before his death, leaving instructions for its completion when
his health deteriorated suddenly. David Baldus died as he lived, with grace,
quiet dignity, and great courage.
Professor Baldus joined the law faculty at the University of Iowa College
of Law in 1969, after earning an LL.M. degree from Yale Law School that
year. He had previously earned a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College in
1957, a M.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1962, and a J.D.
degree from Yale Law School in 1964.
Early in his academic career, well ahead of his peers, Professor Baldus
became convinced that proof in court of many factual assertions, especially
those relating to race discrimination, required a mastery of empirical
methods. Although not formally trained as a statistician, Professor Baldus