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Full-Text Articles in Law

"As The Gentle Rain From Heaven": Mercy In Capital Sentencing, Stephen P. Garvey Jul 1996

"As The Gentle Rain From Heaven": Mercy In Capital Sentencing, Stephen P. Garvey

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Our constitutional law of capital sentencing does not understand Shakespeare's "gentle rain from heaven." Mercy confuses and befuddles it. The jury that sentenced Albert Brown to death was instructed that "'mere ... sympathy"' should not play on its judgment. Brown claimed this instruction violated his Eighth Amendment rights, but the Supreme Court disagreed. Some five years later, Justice Scalia dissented when the Court reversed Derrick Morgan's death sentence. According to Justice Scalia, the Court had held that no "merciless" juror could sit in judgment of a capital defendant. The Constitution, he thought, demanded no such thing. These dissents, one ...


Celluloid Death: Cinematic Depictions Of Capital Punishment, Roberta M. Harding Jul 1996

Celluloid Death: Cinematic Depictions Of Capital Punishment, Roberta M. Harding

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

This essay will examine how two filmmakers used the cinema to investigate death penalty issues through the films Dead Man Walking and Last Light. These films were selected because of their similarities: capital punishment is the central theme of both films; the presence of a strong principal character who is the condemned inmate; the utilization of a character who undergoes a spiritual transformation due to interaction with the condemned inmate; the decision to have this character facilitate the humanization of the condemned individual; and the additional role this character plays as the audiences' conscience. There are, however, differences in the ...


Jury Responsibility In Capital Sentencing: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg, Stephen P. Garvey, Martin T. Wells Apr 1996

Jury Responsibility In Capital Sentencing: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg, Stephen P. Garvey, Martin T. Wells

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The law allows executioners to deny responsibility for what they have done by making it possible for them to believe they have not done it. The law treats members of capital sentencing juries quite differently. It seeks to ensure that they feel responsible for sentencing a defendant to death. This differential treatment rests on a presumed link between a capital sentencer's willingness to accept responsibility for the sentence she imposes and the accuracy and reliability of that sentence. Using interviews of 153 jurors who sat in South Carolina capital cases, this article examines empirically whether capital sentencing jurors assume ...


An Introduction To Federal Habeas Corpus Practice And Procedure, John H. Blume, David P. Voisin Jan 1996

An Introduction To Federal Habeas Corpus Practice And Procedure, John H. Blume, David P. Voisin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

For many prisoners, federal habeas corpus stands as the last opportunity to challenge the constitutionality of their convictions or sentences. Simply navigating through the procedural maze of habeas practice, however, is a formidable task for inmates proceeding pro se and prisoners represented by counsel. Tragically, those who have had a fundamentally unfair trial, and even those who are innocent, may easily stumble. Since 1867, habeas corpus, or the Great Writ, has been available to state prisoners "in all cases where any person may be restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the constitution, or of any treaty or ...


Constitutional Concerns About Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Statute In New York State, Richard Klein Jan 1996

Constitutional Concerns About Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Statute In New York State, Richard Klein

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Revenge For The Condemned, Sara Sun Beale, Paul H. Haagen Jan 1996

Revenge For The Condemned, Sara Sun Beale, Paul H. Haagen

Faculty Scholarship

reviewing, V.A.C. Gatrell, The Hanging Tree: Execution and the English People 1770-1868 (Oxford University Press, 1994)


The “Midnight Assassination Law” And Minnesota’S Anti-Death Penalty Movement, John Bessler Jan 1996

The “Midnight Assassination Law” And Minnesota’S Anti-Death Penalty Movement, John Bessler

All Faculty Scholarship

This article traces the history of Minnesota's anti-death penalty movement and the 1889 Minnesota law - dubbed by contemporaries as the "midnight assassination law" - requiring private, nighttime executions. That law, authored by Minnesota legislator John Day Smith, restricted the number of execution spectators, prohibited newspapers from printing any execution details, and provided that only the fact of the execution could be lawfully printed. Also commonly referred to as the "John Day Smith law," this Minnesota statute was challenged as being unconstitutional by Minnesota newspapers after those newspapers printed details of a botched hanging and were charged with violating the law ...


Reply To Daniel Polsby (Symposium: The New York Death Penalty In Context), Samuel R. Gross Jan 1996

Reply To Daniel Polsby (Symposium: The New York Death Penalty In Context), Samuel R. Gross

Articles

I'd like to offer a few words in response to Professor Polsby's articulate, forceful and amusing essay in favor of capital punishment.


The Risks Of Death: Why Erroneous Convictions Are Common In Capital Cases (Symposium: The New York Death Penalty In Context), Samuel R. Gross Jan 1996

The Risks Of Death: Why Erroneous Convictions Are Common In Capital Cases (Symposium: The New York Death Penalty In Context), Samuel R. Gross

Articles

As the Supreme Court has said, time and again, death is different: It is "different in kind from any other punishment imposed under our system of criminal justice;"1 it "differs more from life imprisonment than a 100-year sentence differs from one of only a year or two;"' 2 and so forth. Traditionally, this observation has justified special procedural protections for capital defendants. Justice Harlan put it nicely nearly forty years ago: "I do not concede that whatever process is 'due' an offender faced with a fine or a prison sentence necessarily satisfies the requirements of the Constitution in a ...


Mitigation, Mercy, And Delay: The Moral Politics Of Death Penalty Abolitionists, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 1996

Mitigation, Mercy, And Delay: The Moral Politics Of Death Penalty Abolitionists, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.