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Capital punishment

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Political Development Of Capital Punishment In The Modern Moroccan State, Mia Barr Apr 2020

The Political Development Of Capital Punishment In The Modern Moroccan State, Mia Barr

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

The modern Moroccan state seen today is very young. Having only been independent from France since 1956, the country has spent the last sixty-four years crafting its post-colonial statehood. What has emerged is a hybrid political system with powers split, however unequally, between the King and his inner circle, known as the makhzen, and the Parliament. Not only is the monarchy constitutional—meaning that its legitimacy is literally written into the primary governing document of Morocco, which had its last referendum in 2011—but it is also self-sustaining and self-legitimizing, for the monarchy uses its constitutional powers to grant itself ...


Supreme Court Clerks And The Death Penalty, Matthew Tokson Apr 2020

Supreme Court Clerks And The Death Penalty, Matthew Tokson

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

This Essay is part of GW's Supreme Court Clerks at 100 symposium.

The Supreme Court is involved, directly or otherwise, with virtually every execution carried out in the United States. Most executions are appealed to the Court, and inmates commonly request a stay of execution a few days or hours before their scheduled death. The clerks review these requests and recommend a ruling.

A few days after I arrived at the Court, I got my first death penalty assignment. As the date drew near, the defendant asked the Court to stay his execution. I opened his file and began ...


Response: Race-Of-Victim Disparities And The "Level Up" Problem, Aya Gruber Jan 2020

Response: Race-Of-Victim Disparities And The "Level Up" Problem, Aya Gruber

Articles

No abstract provided.


Nondelegating Death, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2020

Nondelegating Death, Alexandra L. Klein

Scholarly Articles

Most states’ method of execution statutes afford broad discretion to executive agencies to create execution protocols. Inmates have challenged this discretion, arguing that these statutes unconstitutionally delegate legislative power to executive agencies, violating the state’s nondelegation and separation of powers doctrines. State courts routinely use the nondelegation doctrine, in contrast to the doctrine’s historic disfavor in federal courts. Despite its uncertain status, the nondelegation doctrine is a useful analytical tool to examine decision-making in capital punishment.

This Article critically evaluates responsibility for administering capital punishment through the lens of nondelegation. It analyzes state court decisions upholding broad legislative ...


Bucklew V. Precythe: The Power Of Assumptions And Lethal Injection, Renata Gomez Mar 2019

Bucklew V. Precythe: The Power Of Assumptions And Lethal Injection, Renata Gomez

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Once again, the Supreme Court of the United States has an opportunity to determine the extent to which death-row inmates can bring as-applied challenges to the states’ method of execution and prevent possible botched executions. In Bucklew v. Precythe, the Court will confront the assumptions that the execution team is equipped to handle any execution and that the procedure will go as planned. Additionally, the Court will determine whether the standard articulated in Glossip v. Gross, which requires inmates asserting facial challenges to the states’ method of execution to plead a readily available alternative method of execution, further extends to ...


The Long Wait For An Improbable Death: A Look At Delays In Executions In Kansas And Possible Reforms To Capital Punishment, Amy M. Memmer, Melanie K. Worsley, Brenda I. Rowe Jan 2019

The Long Wait For An Improbable Death: A Look At Delays In Executions In Kansas And Possible Reforms To Capital Punishment, Amy M. Memmer, Melanie K. Worsley, Brenda I. Rowe

Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

This article uses Kansas as a case study to show how in Kansas, as in many other states in the United States, the execution of a death sentence is so improbable, and the delays that precede it so extraordinary, that any arguable deterrent or retributive effect capital punishment might once have had has been severely diminished. This article considers possible reforms to the capital punishment system aimed at reducing the delay between sentencing and execution, and the risks that would accompany those reforms. This article also considers whether capital punishment should still be considered a viable option for states in ...


The State Of The Death Penalty, Ankur Desai, Brandon L. Garrett Jan 2019

The State Of The Death Penalty, Ankur Desai, Brandon L. Garrett

Faculty Scholarship

The death penalty is in decline in America and most death penalty states do not regularly impose death sentences. In 2016 and 2017, states reached modern lows in imposed death sentences, with just thirty-one defendants sentenced to death in 2016 and thirty-nine in 2017, as compared with over three hundred per year in the 1990s. In 2016, only thirteen states imposed death sentences, and in 2017, fourteen did so, although thirty-one states retain the death penalty. What explains this remarkable and quite unexpected trend? In this Article, we present new analysis of state-level legislative changes that might have been expected ...


Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber Jan 2018

Equal Protection Under The Carceral State, Aya Gruber

Articles

McCleskey v. Kemp, the case that upheld the death penalty despite undeniable evidence of its racially disparate impact, is indelibly marked by Justice William Brennan’s phrase, “a fear of too much justice.” The popular interpretation of this phrase is that the Supreme Court harbored what I call a “disparity-claim fear,” dreading a future docket of racial discrimination claims and erecting an impossibly high bar for proving an equal protection violation. A related interpretation is that the majority had a “color-consciousness fear” of remedying discrimination through race-remedial policies. In contrast to these conventional views, I argue that the primary anxiety ...


The Abolitionist Movement Comes Of Age: From Capital Punishment As A Lawful Sanction To A Peremptory, International Law Norm Barring Executions, John D. Bessler Jan 2018

The Abolitionist Movement Comes Of Age: From Capital Punishment As A Lawful Sanction To A Peremptory, International Law Norm Barring Executions, John D. Bessler

All Faculty Scholarship

The anti-death penalty movement is rooted in the Enlightenment, dating back to the publication of the Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria’s treatise, Dei delitti e delle pene (1764). That book, later translated into English as An Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1767), has inspired anti-death penalty advocacy for more than 250 years. This Article traces the development of the abolitionist movement since Beccaria’s time. In particular, it highlights how the debate over capital punishment has shifted from one focused primarily on the severity of monarchical punishments, to deterrence, to one framed by the concept of universal human rights, including ...


Legal Vs. Factual Normative Questions & The True Scope Of Ring, Emad H. Atiq Jan 2018

Legal Vs. Factual Normative Questions & The True Scope Of Ring, Emad H. Atiq

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When is a normative question a question of law rather than a question offact? The short answer, based on common law and constitutional rulings, is: it depends. For example, if the question concerns the fairness of contractual terms, it is a question of law. If it concerns the reasonableness of dangerous risk-taking in a negligence suit, it is a question of fact. If it concerns the obscenity of speech, it was a question of fact prior to the Supreme Court's seminal cases on free speech during the 1970s, but is now treated as law-like. This variance in the case ...


Execution Methods In A Nutshell, Deborah W. Denno Jan 2018

Execution Methods In A Nutshell, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Convictions Of Innocent People With Intellectual Disability, Sheri Johnson, John H. Blume, Amelia Courtney Hritz Jan 2018

Convictions Of Innocent People With Intellectual Disability, Sheri Johnson, John H. Blume, Amelia Courtney Hritz

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In Atkins v. Virginia, the Supreme Court held that executing individuals with intellectual disability violates the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment. In addition to concerns over culpability and deterrence, the Court’s judgment in Atkins was informed by the heightened “risk of wrongful execution” faced by persons with intellectual disability. This essay explores that question both anecdotally and quantitatively, hoping to illuminate the causes of wrongful conviction of persons with intellectual disability. We provide examples from our experiences in the Cornell Death Penalty Clinic and cases brought to our attention by defense attorneys. We also present ...


How Would You Like To Die? Glossip V. Gross Deals Blow To Abolitionists, Brenda I. Rowe Nov 2017

How Would You Like To Die? Glossip V. Gross Deals Blow To Abolitionists, Brenda I. Rowe

Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty Publications

After capital punishment opponents’ pressure on drug suppliers reduced the lethal injection drug supply, Oklahoma began using midazolam, resulting in botched executions. Condemned inmates sought to stop use of this lethal injection protocol. In Glossip v. Gross, the U.S. Supreme Court found inmates failed to establish such protocols entail a substantial risk of severe pain compared to available alternatives, undermining the supply side attack strategy and leaving inmates facing the possibility of an unnecessarily painful execution. This article places the Glossip decision within the context of method of execution jurisprudence and discusses implications for the ongoing battle over capital ...


If It Walks Like Systematic Exclusion And Quacks Like Systematic Exclusion: Follow-Up On Removal Of Women And African-Americans In Jury Selection In South Carolina Capital Cases, 1997-2014, Ann M. Eisenberg, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume Apr 2017

If It Walks Like Systematic Exclusion And Quacks Like Systematic Exclusion: Follow-Up On Removal Of Women And African-Americans In Jury Selection In South Carolina Capital Cases, 1997-2014, Ann M. Eisenberg, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article builds on an earlier study analyzing bases and rates of removal of women and African-American jurors in a set of South Carolina capital cases decided between 1997 and 2012. We examine and assess additional data from new perspectives in order to establish a more robust, statistically strengthened response to the original research question: whether, and if so, why, prospective women and African-American jurors were disproportionately removed in different stages of jury selection in a set of South Carolina capital cases.

The study and the article it builds on add to decades of empirical research exploring the impacts (or ...


The Pre-Furman Juvenile Death Penalty In South Carolina: Young Black Life Was Cheap, Sheri Lynn Johnson, John H. Blume, Hannah L. Freedman Apr 2017

The Pre-Furman Juvenile Death Penalty In South Carolina: Young Black Life Was Cheap, Sheri Lynn Johnson, John H. Blume, Hannah L. Freedman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Capital punishment in this country, and in South Carolina, has its roots in racial subjugation, stereotype, and animosity. The extreme disparities we report here have dampened due to the combined effects of decreasing levels of open racial antagonism, the reforms of the modem death penalty, including categorical exemptions for juveniles and person with intellectual disabilities and prohibition of the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of rape, and the (small) increase in diversity in capital juries. But dampened does not mean eradicated. Significant disparities in the administration of capital punishment persist today. The color of a defendant's ...


The Italian Enlightenment And The American Revolution: Cesare Beccaria's Forgotten Influence On American Law, John Bessler Jan 2017

The Italian Enlightenment And The American Revolution: Cesare Beccaria's Forgotten Influence On American Law, John Bessler

All Faculty Scholarship

The influence of the Italian Enlightenment—the Illuminismo—on the American Revolution has long been neglected. While historians regularly acknowledge the influence of European thinkers such as William Blackstone, John Locke and Montesquieu, Cesare Beccaria’s contributions to the origins and development of American law have largely been forgotten by twenty-first century Americans. In fact, Beccaria’s book, Dei delitti e delle pene (1764), translated into English as On Crimes and Punishments (1767), significantly shaped the views of American revolutionaries and lawmakers. The first four U.S. Presidents—George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison—were inspired by ...


The American Death Penalty Decline, Brandon L. Garrett, Alexander Jakubow, Ankur Desai Jan 2017

The American Death Penalty Decline, Brandon L. Garrett, Alexander Jakubow, Ankur Desai

Faculty Scholarship

American death sentences have both declined and become concentrated in a small group of counties. In his dissenting opinion in Glossip v. Gross in 2014, Justice Stephen Breyer highlighted how from 2004 to 2006, "just 29 counties (fewer than 1% of counties in the country) accounted for approximately half of all death sentences imposed nationwide." That decline has become more dramatic. In 2015, fifty-one defendants were sentenced to death in thirty-eight counties. In 2016, thirty-one defendants were sentenced to death in twenty-eight counties. In the mid-1990s, by way of contrast, over 300 people were sentenced to death in as many ...


What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross Jan 2017

What We Think, What We Know And What We Think We Know About False Convictions, Samuel Gross

Articles

False convictions are notoriously difficult to study because they can neither be observed when they occur nor identified after the fact by any plausible research strategy. Our best shot is to collect data on those that come to light in legal proceedings that result in the exoneration of the convicted defendants. In May 2012, the National Registry of Exonerations released its first report, covering 873 exonerations from January 1989 through February 2012. By October 15, 2016, we had added 1,027 cases: 599 exonerations since March 1, 2012, and 428 that had already happened when we issued our initial report ...


When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales From Neuroscience For Capital Sentencing, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume Nov 2016

When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales From Neuroscience For Capital Sentencing, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The neuroscience of empathy provides one more reason to believe that the decision to sentence another human being to death is inevitably an arbitrary one, and one that cannot be divorced from either race or caprice. While we can tinker with aspects of capital trials that exacerbate caprice and discrimination stemming from empathy, we cannot alter basic neural responses to the pain of others and therefore cannot rationalize (in either sense of the word) empathic responses.


Rubbing The Rabbit's Foot: Gallows Superstitions And Public Healthcare In England During The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries, Roberta M. Harding Jul 2016

Rubbing The Rabbit's Foot: Gallows Superstitions And Public Healthcare In England During The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries, Roberta M. Harding

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Superstitions possess an ancient pedigree. With the passage of time thematic superstitions developed; for example, some solely addressed the public’s health care needs. In fact, as far back as the fifth century many English subjects believed magical spells and jewels had curative properties. Law was another context that generated a body of superstitions. Capital punishment was one area that generated many superstitions. In fact, so many that a specific category was established: gallows superstitions. With hanging as the primary method of execution in England for centuries, this group of superstitions became a relatively large one. By merging the health ...


Death Row, Calls For Indifference, And Redemption Of The Soul, Corinna Barrett Lain Jan 2016

Death Row, Calls For Indifference, And Redemption Of The Soul, Corinna Barrett Lain

Law Faculty Publications

In this Response, I first engage with McLeod’s article, summarizing its key claims and endorsing its call for legislative action, while disagreeing at times with the analytical moves it makes along the way. I then turn to two questions that the article inspired. One stems from comments in the constitutional, academic, and public discourse calling for indifference to the way we treat the condemned in light of the way they treated their victims. Given the depravity of the crimes the condemned have committed, why should we care about the conditions under which they are housed on death row? The ...


Does The Death Penalty Require Death Row? The Harm Of Legislative Silence, Marah S. Mcleod Jan 2016

Does The Death Penalty Require Death Row? The Harm Of Legislative Silence, Marah S. Mcleod

Journal Articles

This Article addresses the substantive question, "Does the death penalty require death row?" and the procedural question, "Who should decide? In most capital punishment states, prisoners sentenced to death are held, because of their sentences alone, in far harsher conditions of confinement than other prisoners. Often, this means solitary confinement for the years and even decades until their executions. Despite a growing amount of media attention to the use of solitary confinement, most scholars and courts have continued to assume that the isolation of death-sentenced prisoners on death row is an inevitable administrative aspect of capital punishment. To the extent ...


The Death Penalty And The Fifth Amendment, Joseph Blocher Jan 2016

The Death Penalty And The Fifth Amendment, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

Can the Supreme Court find unconstitutional something that the text of the Constitution “contemplates”? If the Bill of Rights mentions a punishment, does that make it a “permissible legislative choice” immune to independent constitutional challenges?

Recent developments have given new hope to those seeking constitutional abolition of the death penalty. But some supporters of the death penalty continue to argue, as they have since Furman v. Georgia, that the death penalty must be constitutional because the Fifth Amendment explicitly contemplates it. The appeal of this argument is obvious, but its strength is largely superficial, and is also mostly irrelevant to ...


Forty Years Of Death: The Past, Present, And Future Of The Death Penalty In South Carolina (Still Arbitrary After All These Years), John H. Blume, Lindsey S. Vann Jan 2016

Forty Years Of Death: The Past, Present, And Future Of The Death Penalty In South Carolina (Still Arbitrary After All These Years), John H. Blume, Lindsey S. Vann

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Forty years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States deemed constitutional new death penalty laws intended to minimize the arbitrariness which led the Court to invalidate all capital sentencing statutes four years earlier in Furman v. Georgia. Over the last four decades the Court has — time and again — attempted to regulate the “machinery of death.” Looking back over the Court’s work, many observers, including two current Supreme Court justices, have questioned whether the modern death penalty has lived up to expectations set by the Court in the 1970s or if, despite 40 years of labor, the American death ...


Criminal Justice And (A) Catholic Conscience, Leo E. Strine Jr. Jan 2016

Criminal Justice And (A) Catholic Conscience, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is one person's reflections on how an important influence on his own sense of moral values -- Jesus Christ -- affects his thinking about his own approach to his role as a public official in a secular society, using the vital topic of criminal justice as a focal point. This article draws several important lessons from Christ's teachings about the concept of the other that are relevant to issues of criminal justice. Using Catholicism as a framework, this article addresses, among other things, capital punishment and denying the opportunity for redemption; the problem of racial disparities in the ...


Will Oklahoma Put An Innocent Man To Death?, Lauren Carasik Oct 2015

Will Oklahoma Put An Innocent Man To Death?, Lauren Carasik

Media Presence

No abstract provided.


Guerrilla Warfare And The Constitution, Sonja R. West Jul 2015

Guerrilla Warfare And The Constitution, Sonja R. West

Popular Media

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court upheld, by a 5-4 vote, the states’ ability to execute death row inmates with a three-drug lethal injection cocktail that critics argue causes excruciating pain. The Court reasoned that states should be allowed to use the drug in question, despite its involvement in several botched executions, in part because states can no longer attain more effective alternatives. In the majority opinion, the justices spin an erroneous tale about “anti-death-penalty advocates” pressuring pharmaceutical companies into refusing to supply other, more humane drugs to the states for use in capital punishment. This alleged radical ...


Newsroom: Nason '05 Cited By U.S. Supreme Court, Roger Williams University School Of Law Jun 2015

Newsroom: Nason '05 Cited By U.S. Supreme Court, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Institutionalized Racism And The Death Penalty, Ashleigh Ellis May 2015

Institutionalized Racism And The Death Penalty, Ashleigh Ellis

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Overtime, support for capital punishment has evolved. Compared to previous decades, support has changed amongst different variables such as: age, race, gender, and political perspective; therefore, today, these variables have changed the amount of support for it. For example, as of today, 6 states have repealed the death penalty with New Jersey being the first in 2007 to do so in 40 years. As memories of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era have faded due to generational replacement, American society today still has this racial gap, however it is due to this racial resentment or symbolic resentment that the ...


Drug Traffickers' Deaths: Criticisms Of Laws Not All Fair, S. Chandra Mohan May 2015

Drug Traffickers' Deaths: Criticisms Of Laws Not All Fair, S. Chandra Mohan

Research Collection School Of Law

This is a comment on the western media frenzy over the executions of eight drug traffickers in Indonesia. The commentary looks at whether the anguish over the executions following a conviction and appeals to higher courts in accordance with Indonesian law, apart fromn the loss of life,was well placed.