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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

Applying The Death Penalty To Crimes Of Genocide, Jens David Ohlin Oct 2005

Applying The Death Penalty To Crimes Of Genocide, Jens David Ohlin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications



Revelations From The Blackmun Papers On The Development Of Death Penalty Law , Martha Dragich Oct 2005

Revelations From The Blackmun Papers On The Development Of Death Penalty Law , Martha Dragich

Faculty Publications

Professor Dragich uses the Blackmun papers to augment our understanding of Justice Blackmun's "evolution" on the question of capital punishment. Though the evolution was gradual, she finds that the case of Warren McCleskey seems to have deeply affected Justice Blackmun.


The 'Abuse Excuse' In Capital Sentencing Trials: Is It Relevant To Responsibility, Punishment, Or Neither?, Paul J. Litton Jul 2005

The 'Abuse Excuse' In Capital Sentencing Trials: Is It Relevant To Responsibility, Punishment, Or Neither?, Paul J. Litton

Faculty Publications

The violent criminal who was a victim of severe childhood abuse frequently appears in the responsibility literature because he presents a difficulty for theorists who maintain the compatibility of causal determinism and our practices of holding persons responsible. The challenge is based on the fact that learning about an offender's horrific childhood mitigates the indignation that many persons feel towards him, possibly indicating that they hold him less than fully responsible. Many capital defendants present evidence of suffering childhood abuse, and many jurors find this evidence to count against imposing death. The most obvious explanation for a response like this …


Reliability Matters: Reassociating Bagley Materality, Strickland Prejudice, And Cumulative Harmless Error, John H. Blume, Christopher W. Seeds Jul 2005

Reliability Matters: Reassociating Bagley Materality, Strickland Prejudice, And Cumulative Harmless Error, John H. Blume, Christopher W. Seeds

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Most commonly invoked after conviction and direct appeal, when a defendant may claim that his lawyer was ineffective or that the government failed to disclose exculpatory information, the Brady doctrine, which governs the prosecutor’s duty to disclose favorable evidence to the defense, and the Strickland doctrine, which monitors defense counsel’s duty to represent the client effectively, have developed into the principal safeguards of fair trials, fundamental to the protection of defendants’ constitutional rights and arguably defendants’ strongest insurance of a reliable verdict. But the doctrines do not sufficiently protect these core values.

The doctrines, despite their common due process heritage …


The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich Mar 2005

The Innocence Protection Act Of 2004: A Small Step Forward And A Framework For Larger Reforms, Ronald Weich

All Faculty Scholarship

Passage of the Innocence Protection Act in the closing days of the 108th Congress was a watershed moment. To be sure, the bill that finally became law was a shadow of the more ambitious criminal justice reforms first championed five years earlier by Senator Pat Leahy, Congressman Bill Delahunt and others. But the enactment of legislation designed to strengthen — not weaken — procedural protections for death row inmates was rich in symbolic importance and promise.

Writing in the April 2001 issue of THE CHAMPION (Innocence Protection Act: Death Penalty Reform on the Horizon), I said optimistically: "The criminal justice …


Domestic And International Developments Relating To The Death Penalty: Introduction And Remarks, Sandra L. Babcock Jan 2005

Domestic And International Developments Relating To The Death Penalty: Introduction And Remarks, Sandra L. Babcock

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In recent years, international law has played an increasingly prominent role in the development of death penalty jurisprudence in both domestic and international tribunals. In the United States, the citation of foreign jurisprudence by the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons and Atkins v. Virginia has generated an intense debate within the Court, Congress, and the media. In the Caribbean, decisions of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights have resulted in commutations of numerous death sentences. While abolitionists have celebrated these developments, the death penalty remains a popular sanction, and human rights …


Mental Disorder As An Exemption From The Death Penalty: The Aba-Irr Task Force Recommendations, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2005

Mental Disorder As An Exemption From The Death Penalty: The Aba-Irr Task Force Recommendations, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Task Force on Mental Disability and the Death Penalty (Task Force) established by the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the American Bar Association (ABA-IRR) has proposed that the ABA adopt three recommendations concerning the role of mental disability in capital cases. The first two recommendations call for a prohibition on execution of offenders whose mental disorder rendered them less culpable at the time of the offense, and the third would prohibit execution of those whose mental disability currently renders them incompetent to pursue appeals or to be executed. This Article discusses the first two, culpability-related, recommendations. With respect …


Capitalizing Adolescence: Juvenile Offenders On Death Row, Mary Berkheiser Jan 2005

Capitalizing Adolescence: Juvenile Offenders On Death Row, Mary Berkheiser

Scholarly Works

Taking as its sample group the 2005 population of seventy-two juvenile offenders on death row, this article examines the roles of peer influence and group offending in the murders committed by those now awaiting execution. Based on that examination, the article suggests certain reforms in the capital trials of juveniles. To set the stage, the article first marshals the evidence supporting the “group crime” theory of youth violence and then discusses the critical role of peers in adolescent development and group offending of a violent crime.


Death Sentence Rates And County Demographics: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg Jan 2005

Death Sentence Rates And County Demographics: An Empirical Study, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The number of murders in a state largely determines the size of a state's death row. The more murders, the larger the death row. This fundamental relation yields surprising results, including the newsworthy finding that Texas's death sentencing rate is not unusually high. Recent state-level research also underscores the importance of race in the demography of death row. Death penalty research has long emphasized race's role, and with good reason--a racial hierarchy exists in death sentence rates. Black defendants who murder white victims receive death sentences at the highest rate; white defendants who murder white victims receive death sentences at …


Expert Testimony In Capital Sentencing: Juror Responses, John H. Montgomery, J. Richard Ciccone, Stephen P. Garvey, Theodore Eisenberg Jan 2005

Expert Testimony In Capital Sentencing: Juror Responses, John H. Montgomery, J. Richard Ciccone, Stephen P. Garvey, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Furman v. Georgia (1972), held that the death penalty is constitutional only when applied on an individualized basis. The resultant changes in the laws in death penalty states fostered the involvement of psychiatric and psychologic expert witnesses at the sentencing phase of the trial, to testify on two major issues: (1) the mitigating factor of a defendant’s abnormal mental state and (2) the aggravating factor of a defendant’s potential for future violence. This study was an exploration of the responses of capital jurors to psychiatric/psychologic expert testimony during capital sentencing. The Capital Jury Project is …


Justice Miriam Shearing: Nevada's Trailblazing Minimalist, Mary E. Berkheiser Jan 2005

Justice Miriam Shearing: Nevada's Trailblazing Minimalist, Mary E. Berkheiser

Scholarly Works

Nevada Supreme Court Justice Miriam Shearing retired at the end of her second term on January 4, 2005. Over the nearly thirty years of her very public life on the bench, many have written of her accomplishments as the firs woman to enter the brotherhood of the Nevada judiciary. With Justice Sharing’s retirement, the time is ripe for an examination of her judicial decisions during the twelve years she served on the Nevada Supreme Court. The analysis here provides one perspective on her body of work. It begins, as it must, with a glimpse into the person behind the work.


Protecting The Innocent: The Massachusetts Governor's Council Report, Joseph L. Hoffmann Jan 2005

Protecting The Innocent: The Massachusetts Governor's Council Report, Joseph L. Hoffmann

Articles by Maurer Faculty

No abstract provided.


Roper V. Simmons And Our Constitution In International Equipoise, Roger P. Alford Jan 2005

Roper V. Simmons And Our Constitution In International Equipoise, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

In Roper v. Simmons, the Court unequivocally affirms the use of comparative constitutionalism to interpret the Eighth Amendment. It does not, however, provide an obvious theoretical basis to justify the practice. This Article searches for a theory to explain the comparativism in Roper using the theories advanced in the author's previous scholarship. It concludes that of the colorable candidates, natural law constitutionalism is the most plausible explanation, with the attendant problems associated therewith. The Article concludes with an analysis of the possible ramifications of the Court's comparative approach, suggesting that it may be pursuing a Constitution that is in international …


In Search Of A Theory For Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford Jan 2005

In Search Of A Theory For Constitutional Comparativism, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

Constitutional comparativism - the notion that international and foreign material should be used to interpret the U.S. Constitution - is gaining currency. Yet proponents of this practice rarely offer a firm theoretical justification for the practice. This Article contends that constitutional comparativism should be examined from the perspective of constitutional theory. The use of comparative and international material must be deemed appropriate or inappropriate based on a particular judge's interpretive mode of constitutional analysis. The Article presents four classic constitutional theories - originalism, natural law, majoritarianism, and pragmatism - and addresses the propriety of constitutional comparativism under each theory. This …


If I Implore You And Order You To Set Me Free, Robert Blecker Jan 2005

If I Implore You And Order You To Set Me Free, Robert Blecker

Articles & Chapters

When Odysseus ordered his men to put wax in their ears, bind him to the mast and keep rowing until they passed the Sirens, no matter what he might later command, and then, in the throes of passion, attempted to countermand his earlier command, there, then, Constitutionalism was born in the West. We are perpetually challenged at rational moments to keep future passions in check, so when the future becomes the present, we can survive it without regret.

This brief essay summarily employs the metaphor to account for constitutional rights, long and fixed senatorial terms, life-time judicial tenure, judicial review, …


Medellin V. Dretke: Federalism And International Law, Curtis Bradley, Lori Fisler Damrosch, Martin Flaherty Jan 2005

Medellin V. Dretke: Federalism And International Law, Curtis Bradley, Lori Fisler Damrosch, Martin Flaherty

Faculty Scholarship

This evening, we're going to have, at the very least, a discussion which may blossom into a debate-we will see as the evening progresses. However one characterizes the event, we're here to discuss the Medellin v. Dretke case and, more broadly, we are going to be discussing cutting edge issues of international law, including the operation of self-executing treaties and state legal systems, the weight to be given to judgments of international courts interpreting such treaties, and the duties of state and federal judiciaries in this process, all in the context of death penalty cases. Let me give you a …