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Full-Text Articles in Law

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard Mar 2011

And Death Shall Have No Dominion: How To Achieve The Categorical Exemption Of Mentally Retarded Defendants From Execution, J. Amy Dillard

All Faculty Scholarship

This article examines the Court’s categorical exclusion of mentally retarded defendants from execution and explores how trial courts should employ procedures to accomplish heightened reliability in the mental retardation determination; it maintains that if a mentally retarded defendant is subjected to a death sentence then the Atkins directive has been ignored. To satisfy the Atkins Court’s objective of protecting mentally retarded defendants from the “special risk of wrongful execution,” the article explores whether trial courts should engage in a unified, pre-trial competency assessment in all capital cases where the defendant asserts mental retardation as a bar to execution ...


Racial Epithets In The Criminal Process, Sheri Lynn Johnson, John H. Blume, Patrick M. Wilson Jan 2011

Racial Epithets In The Criminal Process, Sheri Lynn Johnson, John H. Blume, Patrick M. Wilson

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The evidence of modern bias is often difficult to document and, even when documented, still capable of racially neutral interpretations. In contrast, the use of racial epithets is neither subtle nor ambiguous. Prior to the research that generated this article and our representation of two clients whose cases involved racial epithets, we would have assumed that the use of a racial epithet by a decision-maker in a criminal trial would be rare, but that assumption turns out to be wrong. We also would have assumed that the use of an epithet by any of the decision makers would lead to ...


Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke Jan 2011

Minority Practice, Majority's Burden: The Death Penalty Today, James S. Liebman, Peter Clarke

Faculty Scholarship

Although supported in principle by two-thirds of the public and even more of the States, capital punishment in the United States is a minority practice when the actual death-sentencing practices of the nation's 3000-plus counties and their populations are considered This feature of American capital punishment has been present for decades, has become more pronounced recently, and is especially clear when death sentences, which are merely infrequent, are distinguished from executions, which are exceedingly rare.

The first question this Article asks is what forces account for the death-proneness of a minority of American communities? The answer to that question ...