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University of Michigan Law School

Series

Criminal Law

Eighth Amendment

Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas Feb 2019

Reckless Juveniles, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

Modern doctrine and scholarship largely take it for granted that offenders should be criminally punished for reckless acts.1 Yet, developments in our understanding of human behavior can shed light on how we define and attribute criminal liability, or at least force us to grapple with the categories that have existed for so long. This Article examines recklessness and related doctrines in light of the shifts in understanding of adolescent behavior and its biological roots, to see what insights we might attain, or what challenges these understandings pose to this foundational mens rea doctrine. Over the past decade, the U ...


From Grace To Grids: Rethinking Due Process Protections For Parole., Kimberly A. Thomas, Paul D. Reingold May 2017

From Grace To Grids: Rethinking Due Process Protections For Parole., Kimberly A. Thomas, Paul D. Reingold

Articles

Current due process law gives little protection to prisoners at the point of parole, even though the parole decision, like sentencing, determines whether or not a person will serve more time or will go free. The doctrine regarding parole, which developed mostly in the late 1970s, was based on a judicial understanding of parole as an experimental, subjective, and largely standardless art—rooted in assessing the individual “character” of the potential parolee. In this Article we examine the foundations of the doctrine, and conclude that the due process inquiry at the point of parole should take into account the stark ...


Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas Mar 2017

Random If Not "Rare"? The Eighth Amendment Weaknesses Of Post-Miller Legislation, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

First, this Article surveys the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to analogize life without parole for juveniles to the death penalty for adults, and discusses the Eighth Amendment law regarding the parameters around death penalty statutory schemes. Second, this Article examines the state legislative response to Miller, and scrutinizes it with the Court's Eighth Amendment death penalty law-and the states' responses to this case law-in mind. This Article highlights the failure of juvenile homicide sentencing provisions to: 1) narrow offenses that are eligible for life without parole sentences; 2) further limit, once a guilty finding is made, the ...


What Does Graham Mean In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2010

What Does Graham Mean In Michigan?, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

In Graham v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court held that life without parole could not be imposed on a juvenile offender for a nonhomicide crime.1 In this context, the Graham Court extensively discussed the diminished culpability of juvenile criminal defendants, as compared to adults. The Court relied on current scientific research regarding adolescent development and neuroscience. While the narrowest holding of Graham has little impact in Michigan, the science it relies on, and the potential broader implications for adolescents in Michigan, are significant.


Defending Juveniles Facing Life Without Parole In Michigan, Kimberly A. Thomas Jan 2010

Defending Juveniles Facing Life Without Parole In Michigan, Kimberly A. Thomas

Articles

In Graham v. Florida, the United State Supreme Court held that life without parole could not be imposed on a juvenile offender for a non-homicide crime. This article discusses the challenges, under the Eighth Amendment and the Michigan Constitution, to the sentence of life without parole imposed on someone 17 years old or less.


What They Say At The End: Capital Victims' Families And The Press, Samuel R. Gross, Daniel J. Matheson Jan 2003

What They Say At The End: Capital Victims' Families And The Press, Samuel R. Gross, Daniel J. Matheson

Articles

Perhaps the most common complaint by American crime victims and their families is that they are ignored-by the police, by the prosecutors, by the courts and by the press. However true that may be for capital cases in general, there is at least one consistent exception: the great majority of newspaper accounts of executions include at least some description of the reactions of the victims' families and of any surviving victims. It seems to have become an item on the checklist, part of the "who, what, where, when, why, and how" of execution stories. When no family members are available ...


Still Unfair, Still Arbitrary - But Do We Care?, Samuel R. Gross Jan 2000

Still Unfair, Still Arbitrary - But Do We Care?, Samuel R. Gross

Other Publications

Welcome. It is a pleasure to see everybody at this bright and cheery hour of the morning. My assignment is to try to give an overview of the status of the death penalty in America at the beginning of the twenty-first century. I will try to put that in the context of how the death penalty was viewed thirty years ago, or more, and maybe that will tell us something about how the death penalty will be viewed thirty or forty years from now.


Hardening Of The Attitudes: Americans' Views On The Death Penalty, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1994

Hardening Of The Attitudes: Americans' Views On The Death Penalty, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

American support for the death penalty has steadily increased since 1966, when opponents outnumbered supporters, and now in the mid-1990s is at a near record high. Research over the last 20 years has tended to confirm the hypothesis that most people’s death penalty attitudes (pro or con) are based on emotion rather than information or rational argument. People feel strongly about the death penalty, know little about it, and feel no need to know more. Factual information (e.g., about deterrence and discrimination) is generally irrelevant to people’s attitudes, and they are aware that this is so. Support ...


The Reincarnation Of The Death Penalty: Is It Possible?, Yale Kamisar Jan 1973

The Reincarnation Of The Death Penalty: Is It Possible?, Yale Kamisar

Articles

Fifty years ago Clarence Darrow, probably the greatest criminal defense lawyer in American history and a leading opponent of capital punishment, observed: The question of capital punishment has been the subject of endless discussion and will probably never be settled so long as men believe in punishment. Some states have abolished and then reinstated it; some have enjoyed capital punishment for long periods of time and finally prohibited the use of it. The reasons why it cannot be settled are plain. There is first of all no agreement as to the objects of punishment. Next there is no way to ...