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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod Jan 2018

The Death Penalty As Incapacitation, Marah S. Mcleod

Journal Articles

Courts and commentators give scant attention to the incapacitation rationale for capital punishment, focusing instead on retribution and deterrence. The idea that execution may be justified to prevent further violence by dangerous prisoners is often ignored in death penalty commentary. The view on the ground could not be more different. Hundreds of executions have been premised on the need to protect society from dangerous offenders. Two states require a finding of future dangerousness for any death sentence, and over a dozen others treat it as an aggravating factor that turns murder into a capital crime.

How can courts and commentators ...


"Innocence" And The Guilty Mind, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2018

"Innocence" And The Guilty Mind, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

For decades, the “guilty mind” requirement in federal criminal law has been understood as precluding punishment for “morally blameless” (or “innocent”) conduct, the goal being to define the mental element in terms that will protect offenders from conviction unless they had adequate notice of the wrongfulness of their conduct. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Elonis v. United States signals a significant shift in mens readoctrine, recognizing for the first time the potential for disproportionately severe punishment as a justification for heightened mens rea requirements. This long-overdue doctrinal move makes perfect sense because punishment without culpability and excessive ...