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Constitutional Law

St. Mary's University

Eighth Amendment

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When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein

Faculty Articles

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, yet states continue to struggle with drug shortages and botched executions. Some states have authorized alternative methods of execution, including the firing squad. Utah, which has consistently carried out firing squad executions throughout its history, relies on police officers from the jurisdiction where the crime took place to volunteer to carry out these executions. This represents a plausible-and probable method for other states in conducting firing squad executions.

Public and academic discussion of the firing squad has centered on questions of pain and suffering. It has not engaged with the …


Beat The Heat: Texas’S Need To Reduce Summer Temperatures In Offender Housing, Mary E. Adair Jun 2020

Beat The Heat: Texas’S Need To Reduce Summer Temperatures In Offender Housing, Mary E. Adair

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s lack of air conditioning in offender housing areas is a violation of the Eighth Amendment and deprives offenders of humane living conditions. Unlike most Texans, offenders housed in the TDCJ are unable to adequately protect themselves from the higher, prolonged summer temperatures. Most Texas prisons do not provide air conditioning or other types of cooling systems in offender housing areas, so offenders are at the mercy of the elements with little protection against heat-related illnesses. Several jurisdictions, other than Texas, have recognized extreme temperatures in housing areas can lead to constitutional violations because the …


Down And Out In San Antonio: The Constitutionality Of San Antonio's Anti-Homeless Ordinances., Justin Cook Mar 2006

Down And Out In San Antonio: The Constitutionality Of San Antonio's Anti-Homeless Ordinances., Justin Cook

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

This comment addresses the constitutionality of two San Antonio anti-homeless ordinances which prohibit camping in public and aggressive panhandling. The population of San Antonio, Texas grows at a rapid rate. Mayor Ed Garza established a task force to address the homelessness problem in San Antonio. This task force developed a ten-year plan to end homelessness in the city. The plan proposed by the year 2014 all homeless individuals would have alternatives and access to safe, decent, and affordable housing as well as resources and support to sustain housing. However, not long after approving the proposal, San Antonio’s City Council presented …