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Liberality, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2000

Liberality, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

Did late eighteenth-century Americans ever consider themselves liberal? To many historians, this will seem a strange question. The concept of liberalism is widely held to be a nineteenth-century innovation, and therefore to inquire whether Americans in the previous century thought of themselves as liberal seems anachronistic.

Yet precisely because so many scholars take for granted the late evolution of liberal ideas, it may be all the more valuable to reexamine this assumption. Is there really no evidence that eighteenth-century Americans considered themselves liberal? Although they may not have embraced later concepts of liberalism, is it not at least possible that ...


Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd Jan 2000

Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd

Faculty Scholarship

Americans seem to be of two minds about the death penalty. In the last several years, the overall number of executions has risen steeply, reaching a fifty year high this year. Although two-thirds of the public support the penalty, this figure represents a sharp decline from the four-fifths of the population that endorsed the death penalty only six years ago, leaving support for capital punishment at a twenty year low. When life without parole is offered as an alternative, support for the penalty drops even more – often below a majority. Grants of executive clemency reached a twenty year high in ...