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Criminal Law

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Eighth Amendment

University of Baltimore Law

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The Inequality Of America's Death Penalty: A Crossroads For Capital Punishment At The Intersection Of The Eighth And Fourteenth Amendments, John Bessler Jan 2016

The Inequality Of America's Death Penalty: A Crossroads For Capital Punishment At The Intersection Of The Eighth And Fourteenth Amendments, John Bessler

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We live in a divided society, from gated communities to cell blocks congested with disproportionate numbers of young African-American men. There are rich and poor, privileged and homeless, Democrats and Republicans, wealthy zip codes and stubbornly impoverished ones. There are committed "Black Lives Matter" protesters, and there are those who—invoking "Blue Lives Matter" demonstrate in support of America‘s hardworking police officers. In her new article, "Matters of Strata: Race, Gender, and Class Structures in Capital Cases," George Washington University law professor Phyllis Goldfarb highlights the stratification of our society and offers a compelling critique of America‘s death penalty regime—one, she …


Consistently Inconsistent: The Supreme Court And The Confusion Surrounding Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing, Steven P. Grossman Mar 1996

Consistently Inconsistent: The Supreme Court And The Confusion Surrounding Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing, Steven P. Grossman

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(Adapted by permission from 84 Ky. L. J. 107 (1995)) This article examines the Supreme Court's treatment of the Eighth Amendment with respect to claims of excessiveness regarding prison sentences. Specifically, it addresses the issue of whether and to what degree the Eighth Amendment requires that a punishment not be disproportional to the crime punished. In analyzing all of the modern holdings of the Court in this area, one finds significant fault with each. The result of this series of flawed opinions from the Supreme Court is that the state of the law with respect to proportionality in sentencing is …


Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing: The Supreme Court's Tortured Approach To Cruel And Unusual Punishment, Steven P. Grossman Jan 1995

Proportionality In Non-Capital Sentencing: The Supreme Court's Tortured Approach To Cruel And Unusual Punishment, Steven P. Grossman

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This Article examines the Supreme Court's treatment of the Eighth Amendment with respect to claims of excessive prison sentences. Specifically, it addresses the issue of whether and to what degree the Eighth Amendment requires that a punishment not be disproportionate to the crime. In analyzing all of the modern holdings of the Court in this area, this Article finds significant fault with each. The result of this series of flawed opinions from the Supreme Court is that the state of the law with respect to proportionality in sentencing is confused, and what law can be discerned rests on weak foundations. …