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Articles 1 - 9 of 9

Full-Text Articles in Law

Doctors, Discipline, And The Death Penalty: Professional Implications Of Safe Harbor Statutes, Nadia N. Sawicki Aug 2008

Doctors, Discipline, And The Death Penalty: Professional Implications Of Safe Harbor Statutes, Nadia N. Sawicki

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

State capital punishment statutes generally contemplate the involvement of medical providers, and courts have acknowledged that the qualifications of lethal injection personnel have a constitutionally relevant dimension. However, the American Medical Association has consistently voiced its opposition to any medical involvement in executions. In recent years, some states have responded to this conflict by adopting statutory mechanisms to encourage medical participation in lethal injections. Foremost among these are safe harbor policies, which prohibit state medical boards from taking disciplinary action against licensed medical personnel who participate in executions. This Article posits that safe harbor policies, as limitations on medical board ...


Petition For Rehearing, Kennedy V. Louisiana, No. 07-343 (U.S. July 21, 2008), Viet D. Dinh, Neal K. Katyal Jul 2008

Petition For Rehearing, Kennedy V. Louisiana, No. 07-343 (U.S. July 21, 2008), Viet D. Dinh, Neal K. Katyal

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

No abstract provided.


Death And Harmless Error: A Rhetorical Response To Judging Innocence, Colin Starger Feb 2008

Death And Harmless Error: A Rhetorical Response To Judging Innocence, Colin Starger

All Faculty Scholarship

Professor Garrett’s impressive empirical analysis of the first 200 post conviction DNA exonerations in the United States (“Garrett Study”) has the potential to affect contemporary debates surrounding our nation’s criminal justice system. This Response explores this potential by harnessing the Study’s data in support of arguments for and against a contested doctrinal proposition — that guilt-based harmless error rules should never apply in death penalty appeals. My analysis starts with the premise that the Study’s real world impact will necessarily depend on how jurists, politicians, and scholars extrapolate the explanatory power of the data beyond the 200 ...


Habeas Corpus And State Sentencing Reform: A Story Of Unintended Consequences, Nancy J. King, Suzanna Sherry Jan 2008

Habeas Corpus And State Sentencing Reform: A Story Of Unintended Consequences, Nancy J. King, Suzanna Sherry

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article tells the story of how fundamental shifts in state sentencing policy collided with fundamental shifts in federal habeas policy to produce a tangled and costly doctrinal wreck. The conventional assumption is that state prisoners seeking habeas relief allege constitutional errors in their state court convictions and sentences. But almost 20 percent of federal habeas petitions filed by noncapital state prisoners do not challenge state court judgments. They instead attack administrative actions by state prison officials or parole boards, actions taken long after the petitioner's conviction and sentencing. Challenges to these administrative decisions create serious problems for federal ...


Engaging Capital Emotions, Douglas A. Berman, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2008

Engaging Capital Emotions, Douglas A. Berman, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Supreme Court, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, is about to decide whether the Eighth Amendment forbids capital punishment for child rape. Commentators are aghast, viewing this as a vengeful recrudescence of emotion clouding sober, rational criminal justice policy. To their minds, emotion is distracting. To ours, however, emotion is central to understand the death penalty. Descriptively, emotions help to explain many features of our death-penalty jurisprudence. Normatively, emotions are central to why we punish, and denying or squelching them risks prompting vigilantism and other unhealthy outlets for this normal human reaction. The emotional case for the death penalty for child ...


The Supreme Court And The Politics Of Death, Stephen F. Smith Jan 2008

The Supreme Court And The Politics Of Death, Stephen F. Smith

Journal Articles

This article explores the evolving role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the politics of death. By constitutionalizing the death penalty in the 1970s, the Supreme Court unintentionally set into motion political forces that have seriously undermined the Court's vision of a death penalty that is fairly administered and imposed only on the worst offenders. With the death penalty established as a highly salient political issue, politicians - legislators, prosecutors, and governors - have strong institutional incentives to make death sentences easier to achieve and carry out. The result of this vicious cycle is not only more executions, but less ...


Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien Jan 2008

Frequency And Predictors Of False Conviction: Why We Know So Little, And New Data On Capital Cases, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien

Articles

In the first part of this article, we address the problems inherent in studying wrongful convictions: our pervasive ignorance and the extreme difficulty of obtaining the data that we need to answer even basic questions. The main reason that we know so little about false convictions is that, by definition, they are hidden from view. As a result, it is nearly impossible to gather reliable data on the characteristics or even the frequency of false convictions. In addition, we have very limited data on criminal investigations and prosecutions in general, so even if we could somehow obtain data on cases ...


Life And Death Decisions: Prosecutorial Discretion And Capital Punishment In Missouri, Katherine Y. Barnes, David L. Sloss, Stephen C. Thaman Jan 2008

Life And Death Decisions: Prosecutorial Discretion And Capital Punishment In Missouri, Katherine Y. Barnes, David L. Sloss, Stephen C. Thaman

All Faculty Scholarship

This article presents the results of an empirical study of intentional homicide cases in Missouri. The authors created a database of 1046 cases; it includes substantially all of the homicide cases prosecuted in Missouri over a five year period that were initially charged as murder or voluntary manslaughter and that yielded criminal convictions. The authors selected 247 cases from the larger database for more detailed analysis. We analyzed geographic and racial disparities in the rates at which: prosecutors charge first-degree murder versus lesser charges; prosecutors seek the death penalty, not lesser punishments; defendants are convicted of first-degree murder versus lesser ...


Abolition In The U.S.A. By 2050: On Political Capital And Ordinary Acts Of Resistance, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2008

Abolition In The U.S.A. By 2050: On Political Capital And Ordinary Acts Of Resistance, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The United States, like the larger international community, likely will tend toward greater abolition of the death penalty during the first half of the twenty-first century. A handful of individual states – states that have historically carried out few or no executions – probably will abolish capital punishment over the next twenty years, which will create political momentum and ultimately a federal constitutional ban on capital punishment in the United States. It is entirely reasonable to expect that, by the mid-twenty-first century, capital punishment will have the same status internationally as torture: an outlier practice, prohibited by international agreements and customary international ...