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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Life, Death And The Law - And Why Capital Punishment Is Legally Insupportable , Peter Fitzpatrick Jan 1999

Life, Death And The Law - And Why Capital Punishment Is Legally Insupportable , Peter Fitzpatrick

Cleveland State Law Review

Given that law has an integral commitment to life, in this lecture I want to show how the law should manifest something of a fundamental dissonance, even a terminal incoherence, when law is called upon to deal death. That is what happens in the judicial discourse on the death penalty in the United States. I will approach this demonstration in a way that may at first seem paradoxical, in a way that will bring out the deep affinity between law and death. That affinity is one in which death is, in a sense, the limit of law; a limit that ...


Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports Jan 1999

Justice Blackmun's Mark On Criminal Law And Procedure, Kit Kinports

Journal Articles

When Justice Blackmun was nominated to the Court in 1970, Americans were consumed with the idea of crime control. In the 1968 presidential campaign, Richard Nixon had called the Supreme Court "soft on crime" and had promised to "put 'law and order' judges on the Court." While sitting on the Eighth Circuit, the Justice had "seldom struck down searches, seizures, arrests or confessions," and most of his opinions in criminal cases had "affirmed guilty verdicts and sentences." Thus, according to one commentator, Justice Blackmun seemed to be "exactly what Nixon was looking for: a judge who believed in judicial restraint ...