Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Series

Death penalty

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 419

Full-Text Articles in Law

Take The Motherless Children Off The Street: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome And The Criminal Justice System, Michael L. Perlin, Heather Ellis Cucolo Apr 2023

Take The Motherless Children Off The Street: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome And The Criminal Justice System, Michael L. Perlin, Heather Ellis Cucolo

Articles & Chapters

Remarkably, there has been minimal academic legal literature about the interplay between fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD) and critical aspects of many criminal trials, including issues related to the role of experts, quality of counsel, competency to stand trial, the insanity defense, and sentencing and the death penalty. Nor has there been any literature about the interplay between FASD-related issues and the legal school of thought known as therapeutic jurisprudence.

In this article, the co-authors will first define fetal alcohol syndrome and explain its significance to the criminal justice system. We will then look at the specific role of experts …


Racial Bias And Death Penalty Cases: A Soar Analysis Of Post-Conviction, Ashley Mcilvaine Apr 2023

Racial Bias And Death Penalty Cases: A Soar Analysis Of Post-Conviction, Ashley Mcilvaine

Senior Capstone Papers

Racial discrimination is a far-reaching issue that adversely impacts individuals, groups, and communities across multiple domains. It is defined by the Equality and Human Rights Commission as being treated differently because of one’s race. For decades, discriminatory policies have been codified into institutional processes which disadvantage people of color. This is particularly evident in the criminal justice system. Examples of practices that disproportionately impact intentionally marginalized populations include issues of excess force and police brutality, sentencing disparities for minor offenses or drug charges, and state sanctioned capital punishment. While these forms of discrimination are often labeled as explicit and overt …


Taking Corrigibility Seriously, Dora Klein Jan 2023

Taking Corrigibility Seriously, Dora Klein

Faculty Articles

This article argues that the Supreme Court's creation of a category of "irreparably corrupt" juveniles is not only an epistemological mistake but also a tactical mistake which has undermined the Court's express desire that only in the "rarest" of cases will juveniles be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


As Seen On Screen: American Ambivalence Shown Through Death Penalty And Vigilante Films, Lisette Donewald May 2022

As Seen On Screen: American Ambivalence Shown Through Death Penalty And Vigilante Films, Lisette Donewald

Honors Scholar Theses

The United States is one of the last western nations still practicing capital punishment. A history of and commitment to vigilantism and its ideals offers an explanation of America’s retention of capital punishment. Employing scholarship on law and popular culture and vigilantism, this thesis finds that pro-death penalty frames are prevalent in vigilante films while anti-death penalty frames are prevalent in films that focus specifically upon capital punishment. Since the 1960’s however, there has been a gradual shift towards anti-death penalty frames and away from pro-death penalty frames as well as changes in the themes presented in the two genres …


"Insanity Is Smashing Up Against My Soul": The Fifth Circuit And Competency To Be Executed Cases After Panetti V. Quarterman, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon Apr 2022

"Insanity Is Smashing Up Against My Soul": The Fifth Circuit And Competency To Be Executed Cases After Panetti V. Quarterman, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon

Articles & Chapters

One of the open secrets of death penalty law and policy is the astonishingly high percentage of individuals on death row with serious mental disabilities. This is well known to lawyers who represent this cohort (and presumably, equally well known to the district attorneys who nevertheless prosecute them and the judges who try and sentence them), but is not generally discussed in the press nor, certainly, in political discourse. In the aggregate, this is far beneath society’s radar.

It is now over 14 years since the US Supreme Court decided a case that clarified the underlying issues. In Panetti v. …


When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

When Police Volunteer To Kill, Alexandra L. Klein

Scholarly Articles

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of lethal injection, yet states continue to struggle with drug shortages and botched executions. Some states have authorized alternative methods of execution, including the firing squad. Utah, which has consistently carried out firing squad executions throughout its history, relies on police officers from the jurisdiction where the crime took place to volunteer to carry out these executions. This represents a plausible--and probable--method for other states in conducting firing squad executions.

Public and academic discussion of the firing squad has centered on questions of pain and suffering. It has not engaged with the consequences …


"Only To Have A Say In The Way He Dies": Bodily Autonomy And Methods Of Execution, Alexandra L. Klein Jan 2022

"Only To Have A Say In The Way He Dies": Bodily Autonomy And Methods Of Execution, Alexandra L. Klein

Scholarly Articles

Capital punishment is one of the most significant intrusions into a person's bodily autonomy; the state takes a person's life. Even though the state has stripped a person on death row of much of their autonomy and intends to kill them, removing all autonomy, a person sentenced to death may, in some circumstances, choose how they will die. While most states rely on a single method of execution, some states permit a condemned person to choose among two or more methods of execution. Constitutional challenges to methods of execution requires the challenger to demonstrate a substantial risk of severe pain …


Can Delaying An Execution Due To Covid-19 Amount To Unconstitutional Discrimination?, Benjamin Joshua Ong Jan 2022

Can Delaying An Execution Due To Covid-19 Amount To Unconstitutional Discrimination?, Benjamin Joshua Ong

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

This note discusses the case of Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin v Attorney-General [2021] 1 SLR 809 (CA); [2021] 4 SLR 698 (HC) and its implications for equality law in Singapore.


Getting To Death: Race And The Paths Of Capital Cases After Furman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Garth Davies, Ray Paternoster Jan 2022

Getting To Death: Race And The Paths Of Capital Cases After Furman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Garth Davies, Ray Paternoster

Faculty Scholarship

Decades of research on the administration of the death penalty have recognized the persistent arbitrariness in its implementation and the racial inequality in the selection of defendants and cases for capital punishment. This Article provides new insights into the combined effects of these two constitutional challenges. We show how these features of post-Furman capital punishment operate at each stage of adjudication, from charging death-eligible cases to plea negotiations to the selection of eligible cases for execution and ultimately to the execution itself, and how their effects combine to sustain the constitutional violations first identified 50 years ago in Furman …


Strange Justice For Victims Of The Missouri Public Defender Funding Crisis: Punishing The Innocent, Sean O'Brien Jul 2021

Strange Justice For Victims Of The Missouri Public Defender Funding Crisis: Punishing The Innocent, Sean O'Brien

Faculty Works

This article was written in response to an invitation to participate in the 2016 Richard J. Childress Memorial Lecture at St. Louis University School of Law. It focuses on the relationship between public defender funding, quality of representation, and the risk of convicting the innocent, drawing on specific examples of Missouri defendants who were convicted and sentence to prison or to death in spite of their innocence.


To What Extent Is The Death Penalty A Tool Of Racial Terror In America, And How Can We Fix It?, Gabrielle Boileau Apr 2021

To What Extent Is The Death Penalty A Tool Of Racial Terror In America, And How Can We Fix It?, Gabrielle Boileau

Honors Projects

In this project, I seek to answer the question: To what extent is the death penalty a tool of racial terror in America, and how can we fix it? America has long been plagued by the legacy of slavery and white supremacy. In the reconstruction era, when slavery was no longer legal, angry white citizens would simply round up African-Americans and lynch them if they felt they had done something “wrong”. However, in the modern era, such blatant displays of racism are illegal, and the racist views of society are subverted into the court system. Black men are disproportionately arrested …


Sacrifice For The Mandate Of Heaven? Regression Discontinuity Of Death Penalty Execution In Taiwan, Austin Horng En Wang, Yuan Ning Chu, Fang Yu Chen, Ming Jui Yeh Feb 2021

Sacrifice For The Mandate Of Heaven? Regression Discontinuity Of Death Penalty Execution In Taiwan, Austin Horng En Wang, Yuan Ning Chu, Fang Yu Chen, Ming Jui Yeh

Political Science Faculty Research

© 2021 Western Social Science Association. The death penalty enjoys overwhelmingly cross-partisan support among Taiwanese citizens. Politicians, mass media actors, and anti-death-penalty activists all believe that death penalty executions boost the president’s approval. As a result, Taiwanese presidents are motivated to strategically execute prisoners, trying to improve their approval rate. To examine this myth, we exploit data from a nationally representative survey conducted in 2012; six inmates were unexpectedly executed during the survey period. This unique opportunity enables us to examine the causal relationship between implementing a welcoming policy and its effect on public opinion. Contrary to popular belief, however, …


Nine Ways Of Looking At Oklahoma City: An Essay On Sam Anderson’S Boom Town, Rodger D. Citron Jan 2021

Nine Ways Of Looking At Oklahoma City: An Essay On Sam Anderson’S Boom Town, Rodger D. Citron

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Narrowing Death Eligibility In Idaho: An Empirical And Constitutional Analysis, Aliza Plener Cover Jan 2021

Narrowing Death Eligibility In Idaho: An Empirical And Constitutional Analysis, Aliza Plener Cover

Articles

No abstract provided.


Getting To Know You: An Expanded Approach To Capital Jury Selection, Samuel P. Newton Jan 2021

Getting To Know You: An Expanded Approach To Capital Jury Selection, Samuel P. Newton

Articles

The Colorado Method of capital jury selection is a widely embraced strategy defense attorneys use to select jurors during voir dire, in which attorneys rank each juror exclusively on the likelihood that the juror will vote for death. The method could benefit from some expansion. Not all defense lawyers have access to Colorado-Method-based training. In innocence cases, defense lawyers should soften discussions of punishment prior to guilt since this tactic predisposes juries to vote for death. Nor do jurors' views or positions on the death penalty guarantee their eventual votes. While capital juries are already inclined to give death sentences …


"Man Is Opposed To Fair Play": An Empirical Analysis Of How The Fifth Circuit Has Failed To Take Seriously Atkins V. Virginia, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Wetzel Jan 2021

"Man Is Opposed To Fair Play": An Empirical Analysis Of How The Fifth Circuit Has Failed To Take Seriously Atkins V. Virginia, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Wetzel

Articles & Chapters

In 2002, for the first time, in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002), the United States Supreme Court found that it violated the Eighth Amendment to subject persons with intellectual disabilities to the death penalty. Since that time, it has returned to this question multiple times, clarifying that inquiries into a defendant’s intellectual disability (for purposes of determining whether he is potentially subject to the death penalty) cannot be limited to a bare numerical “reading” of an IQ score, and that state rules based on superseded medical standards created an unacceptable risk that a person with intellectual disabilities could …


The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller Jun 2020

The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller

Articles

For the last half-century, Supreme Court doctrine has required that capital jurors consider facts and characteristics particular to individual defendants when determining their sentences. While liberal justices have long touted this individualized sentencing requirement as a safeguard against unfair death sentences, in practice the results have been disappointing. The expansive discretion that the requirement confers on overwhelmingly White juries has resulted in outcomes that are just as arbitrary and racially discriminatory as those that existed in the years before the temporary abolition of the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia.' After decades of attempting to eliminate the requirement, conservative justices …


Sister Helen Prejean And The Death Penalty: Decades Of Fighting Capital Punishment, University Marketing And Communications, Helen Prejean May 2020

Sister Helen Prejean And The Death Penalty: Decades Of Fighting Capital Punishment, University Marketing And Communications, Helen Prejean

DePaul Download

Sister Helen Prejean has dedicated her life to opposing the death penalty after she witnessed an execution in her home state of Louisiana. Her efforts have sparked a national dialogue on capital punishment and she has helped shape the Catholic Church’s position on the topic. In 2011, she donated her personal archives to the university to help the DePaul community continue to learn from her work. On this episode of DePaul Download, Sister Helen talks about life’s work and what keeps her going.


Has Revenge Become A Justification To Legitimize The Death Penalty?, Jordan Ryan Apr 2020

Has Revenge Become A Justification To Legitimize The Death Penalty?, Jordan Ryan

Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy Sidebar

Revenge has played a role in criminal justice systems for thousands of years. From the Code of Hammurabi, to the Bible, to modern Supreme Court jurisprudence, revenge, or “getting even,” has been a consideration in how wrongdoers are punished, especially with respect to the imposition of the death penalty. Historically, revenge has not been viewed as a legitimate justification for punishment under American legal principles. However, in the past year, both the United States Supreme Court and the Department of Justice have signaled that revenge may well have a legitimate role in justifying the death penalty.

This Note will explore …


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 further powers …


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 to …


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 delegations to …


Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit Jan 2020

Reimagining The Death Penalty: Targeting Christians, Conservatives, Spearit

Articles

This Article is an interdisciplinary response to an entrenched legal and cultural problem. It incorporates legal analysis, religious study and the anthropological notion of “culture work” to consider death penalty abolitionism and prospects for abolishing the death penalty in the United States. The Article argues that abolitionists must reimagine their audiences and repackage their message for broader social consumption, particularly for Christian and conservative audiences. Even though abolitionists are characterized by some as “bleeding heart” liberals, this is not an accurate portrayal of how the death penalty maps across the political spectrum. Abolitionists must learn that conservatives are potential allies …


Could The Pope's Call To End The Death Penalty Keep Catholics Off Juries?, Aliza Plener Cover Jan 2019

Could The Pope's Call To End The Death Penalty Keep Catholics Off Juries?, Aliza Plener Cover

Articles

No abstract provided.


Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler Jan 2019

Taking Psychological Torture Seriously: The Torturous Nature Of Credible Death Threats And The Collateral Consequences For Capital Punishment, John Bessler

All Faculty Scholarship

This article explores how the death penalty and the indefinite nature of death row in the United States creates a constant threat of death, which can violate the United Nations Convention Against Torture’s prohibitions on death threats.


A World Of Steel-Eyed Death: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt Jan 2019

A World Of Steel-Eyed Death: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt

Articles & Chapters

Anyone who has been involved with death penalty litigation in the past four decades knows that one of the most scandalous aspects of that process—in many ways, the most scandalous—is the inadequacy of counsel so often provided to defendants facing execution. By now, virtually anyone with even a passing interest is well versed in the cases and stories about sleeping lawyers, missed deadlines, alcoholic and disoriented lawyers, and, more globally, lawyers who simply failed to vigorously defend their clients. This is not news.

And, in the same vein, anyone who has been so involved with this area of law and …


Navigating The Moral Minefields Of Human Rights Advocacy In The Global South, Sandra L. Babcock Jan 2019

Navigating The Moral Minefields Of Human Rights Advocacy In The Global South, Sandra L. Babcock

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Human rights advocacy in foreign countries raises complex ethical, moral, and political questions. Legal scholars have challenged the legitimacy and accountability of international human rights activists that impose foreign agendas on local partners in the Global South. Development economists have raised related concerns about the impact of foreign assistance on government accountability. In this article, I use narrative storytelling techniques to illustrate the fraught strategic judgments and moral choices that permeate human rights advocacy. These narratives are drawn from my international human rights clinic’s twelve-year engagement in justice reform work in Malawi, where my students and I have been instrumental …


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 …


Capital And Punishment: Resource Scarcity Increases Endorsement Of The Death Penalty, Keelah E. G. Williams, Ashley M. Votruba, Steven L. Neuberg, Michael J. Saks Jan 2019

Capital And Punishment: Resource Scarcity Increases Endorsement Of The Death Penalty, Keelah E. G. Williams, Ashley M. Votruba, Steven L. Neuberg, Michael J. Saks

Department of Psychology: Faculty Publications

Faced with punishing severe offenders, why do some prefer imprisonment whereas others impose death? Previous research exploring death penalty attitudes has primarily focused on individual and cultural factors. Adopting a functional perspective, we propose that environmental features may also shape our punishment strategies. Individuals are attuned to the availability of resources within their environments. Due to heightened concerns with the costliness of repeated offending, we hypothesize that individuals tend toward elimination-focused punishments during times of perceived scarcity. Using global and United States data sets (studies 1 and 2), we find that indicators of resource scarcity predict the presence of capital …


Death By Stereotype: Race, Ethnicity, And California’S Failure To Implement Furman’S Narrowing Requirement, Catherine M. Grosso, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Michael Laurence, David C. Baldus, George W. Woodworth, Richard Newell Jan 2019

Death By Stereotype: Race, Ethnicity, And California’S Failure To Implement Furman’S Narrowing Requirement, Catherine M. Grosso, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Michael Laurence, David C. Baldus, George W. Woodworth, Richard Newell

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the possible racial and ethnic implications of California’s expansive death penalty statute in light of the Eighth Amendment’s requirement that each state statute narrow the subclass of offenders on whom a death sentence may be imposed. The narrowing requirement derives from the holding in Furman v. Georgia over forty-five years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that existing death penalty statutes violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. Citing statistics demonstrating arbitrary and capricious application of capital punishment, a majority of the Justices concluded that a death sentencing scheme is unconstitutional if it …