Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Criminal Procedure

1996

Columbia Law School

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

Mature Adjudication: Interpretive Choice In Recent Death Penalty Cases, Bernard Harcourt Jan 1996

Mature Adjudication: Interpretive Choice In Recent Death Penalty Cases, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Capital punishment presents a "hard" case for adjudication. It provokes sharp conflict between competing constitutional interpretations and invariably raises questions of judicial bias. This is particularly true in the new Republic of South Africa, where the framers of the interim constitution deliberately were silent regarding the legality of the death penalty. The tension is of equivalent force in the United States, where recent expressions of core constitutional rights have raised potentially irreconcilable conflicts in the application of capital punishment.

Two recent death penalty decisions – the South African Constitutional Court opinions in State v. Makwanyane and the United States Supreme Court ...