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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Virtual Life Sentences: An Exploratory Study, Jessica S. Henry, Christopher Salvatore, Bai-Eyse Pugh Apr 2018

Virtual Life Sentences: An Exploratory Study, Jessica S. Henry, Christopher Salvatore, Bai-Eyse Pugh

Department of Justice Studies Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works

Virtual life sentences are sentences with a term of years that exceed an individual’s natural life expectancy. This exploratory study is one of the first to collect data that establish the existence, prevalence, and scope of virtual life sentences in state prisons in the United States. Initial data reveal that more than 31,000 people in 26 states are serving virtual life sentences for violent and nonviolent offenses, and suggest racial disparities in the distribution of these sentences. This study also presents potential policy implications and suggestions for future research.


Moral Disengagement In Legal Judgments, Tess M. S. Neal, Robert J. Cramer Jan 2017

Moral Disengagement In Legal Judgments, Tess M. S. Neal, Robert J. Cramer

Community & Environmental Health Faculty Publications

We investigated the role of moral disengagement in a legally-relevant judgment in this theoretically-driven empirical analysis. Moral disengagement is a social-cognitive phenomenon through which people reason their way toward harming others, presenting a useful framework for investigating legal judgments that often result in harming individuals for the good of society. We tested the role of moral disengagement in forensic psychologists' willingness to conduct the most ethically questionable clinical task in the criminal justice system: competence for execution evaluations. Our hypothesis that moral disengagement would function as mediator of participants' existing attitudes and their judgmentsa theoretical bridge between attitudes and judgmentswas …


Executions In America: How Constitutional Interpretation Has Restricted Capital Punishment, Andrea Paone Jul 2011

Executions In America: How Constitutional Interpretation Has Restricted Capital Punishment, Andrea Paone

Pell Scholars and Senior Theses

In upholding the constitutionality of capital punishment, the United States Supreme Court has utilized a strict construction interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, which has led the opponents of capital punishment to abandon the Due Process approach and look to the Eighth Amendment, for which the justices utilize a loose construction interpretation.


From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde Mar 2011

From Rapists To Superpredators: What The Practice Of Capital Punishment Says About Race, Rights And The American Child, Robyn Linde

Faculty Publications

At the turn of the 20th century, the United States was widely considered to be a world leader in matters of child protection and welfare, a reputation lost by the century’s end. This paper suggests that the United States’ loss of international esteem concerning child welfare was directly related to its practice of executing juvenile offenders. The paper analyzes why the United States continued to carry out the juvenile death penalty after the establishment of juvenile courts and other protections for child criminals. Two factors allowed the United States to continue the juvenile death penalty after most states in …


The Family Capital Of Capital Families: Investigating Empathic Connections Between Jurors And Defendants' Families In Death Penalty Cases, Jody L. Madeira Jan 2011

The Family Capital Of Capital Families: Investigating Empathic Connections Between Jurors And Defendants' Families In Death Penalty Cases, Jody L. Madeira

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Documentation, Documentary, And The Law: What Should Be Made Of Victim Impact Videos?, Regina Austin Jan 2010

Documentation, Documentary, And The Law: What Should Be Made Of Victim Impact Videos?, Regina Austin

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the Supreme Court sanctioned the introduction of victim impact evidence in the sentencing phase of capital cases in Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808 (1991), there have been a number of reported decisions in which that evidence has taken the form of videos composed of home-produced still photographs and moving images of the victim. Most of these videos were first shown at funerals or memorial services and contain music appropriate for such occasions. This article considers the probative value of victim impact videos and responds to the call of Justice John Paul Stevens, made in a statement regarding the …


The Cognitive Components Of Punishment, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Forest Jourden Jan 2003

The Cognitive Components Of Punishment, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Forest Jourden

Cornell Law Faculty Publications



A Broken System, Part Ii: Why There Is So Much Error In Capital Cases And What Can Be Done About It, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Andrew Gelman, Valerie West, Garth Davies, Alexander Kiss Jan 2002

A Broken System, Part Ii: Why There Is So Much Error In Capital Cases And What Can Be Done About It, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Andrew Gelman, Valerie West, Garth Davies, Alexander Kiss

Faculty Scholarship

There is growing awareness that serious, reversible error permeates America’s death penalty system, putting innocent lives at risk, heightening the suffering of victims, leaving killers at large, wasting tax dollars, and failing citizens, the courts and the justice system.

Our June 2000 Report shows how often mistakes occur and how serious it is: 68% of all death verdicts imposed and fully reviewed during the 1973-1995 study period were reversed by courts due to serious errors.

Analyses presented for the first time here reveal that 76% of the reversals at the two appeal stages where data are available for study were …


Rates Of Reversible Error And The Risk Of Wrongful Execution, James S. Liebman Jan 2002

Rates Of Reversible Error And The Risk Of Wrongful Execution, James S. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Innocent fatalities are a concern of all social activity with a capacity to kill. This is especially true when the social activity is the death penalty since an innocent person's execution is not simply a tragic collateral consequence of activity with a non-fatal objective. Instead, the taking of life is the goal of the enterprise, and the killing is the intended act of the state.

There is another difference between accidental fatalities in other social activities and those that occur when the capital system miscarries. Typically, the former fatalities are easy to spot and quantify; the latter are not. Precisely …


A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2000

A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

There is a growing bipartisan consensus that flaws in America's death-penalty system have reached crisis proportions. Many fear that capital trials put people on death row who don't belong there. Others say capital appeals take too long. This report – the first statistical study ever undertaken of modern American capital appeals (4,578 of them in state capital cases between 1973 and 1995) – suggests that both claims are correct.

Capital sentences do spend a long time under judicial review. As this study documents, however, judicial review takes so long precisely because American capital sentences are so persistently and systematically fraught …


Death Matters – A Reply To Latzer And Cauthen, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2000

Death Matters – A Reply To Latzer And Cauthen, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey A. Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

The legal treatment of capital punishment in the United States "rests squarely on the predicate that the penalty of death is qualitatively different from a sentence of imprisonment, however long. Death, in its finality, differs more from life imprisonment than a 100-year prison term differs from one of only a year or two. This predicate is among "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society" and determine whether a punishment is "cruel and unusual" in violation of the Constitution. Because "'[f]rom the point of view of the defendant, [death] is different in both its severity …


Death Is The Whole Ball Game, Jeffrey A. Fagan, James S. Liebman, Valerie West Jan 2000

Death Is The Whole Ball Game, Jeffrey A. Fagan, James S. Liebman, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

In Capital Appeals Revisited and The Meaning of Capital Appeals, Barry Latzer and James N.G. Cauthen argue that a study of capital appeals should focus only on overturned findings of guilt, and complain that in A Broken System we examine all overturned capital verdicts. But the question they want studied cannot provide an accurate evaluation of a system of capital punishment. By proposing to count only "conviction" error and not "sentence" error, Latzer and Cauthen ignore that if a death sentence is overturned, the case is no longer capital and the system of capital punishment has failed to achieve its …


The Executioners Sing, Joseph L. Hoffmann Jan 1995

The Executioners Sing, Joseph L. Hoffmann

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Unpleasant Facts: The Supreme Court's Response To Empirical Research On Capital Punishment, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1988

Unpleasant Facts: The Supreme Court's Response To Empirical Research On Capital Punishment, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

Slowly at first, and then with accelerating frequency, the courts have begun to examine, consider, and sometimes even require empirical data. From 1960 to 1981, for example, use of the terms "statistics" and "statistical" in Federal District and Circuit Court opinions increased by almost 15 times.1 Of course, citation rates indicate only that a topic is considered worthy of mention, not that it is taken seriously, or even understood. Nonetheless, in a number of areas, such as jury composition and employment discrimination, the courts have come to rely on empirical data as a matter of course.

In the last 25 …