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Constitutional Law & Criminal Law - The Eighth Amendment - The Juvenile Death Penalty: A Premature Decision Over Teenage Immaturity? Roper V. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)., J. Blake Byrd Oct 2006

Constitutional Law & Criminal Law - The Eighth Amendment - The Juvenile Death Penalty: A Premature Decision Over Teenage Immaturity? Roper V. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)., J. Blake Byrd

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

The final clause of the Eighth Amendment is the source of this nation's prohibition on unconstitutional punishment. Today, the Supreme Court's evolving-standard on the prohibition on unconstitutional punishment has two steps: The Court (1) looks at objective indicia of societal consensus against a particular practice and (2) ultimately uses its independent judgment to analyze whether the punishment is proportional to the offender's mental state and category of crime. There is tension within the Court, however, because some members believe that the evolving-standards jurisprudence is mistaken, and they fervently reject a proportionality analysis.

The United States has a long history of …


Down And Out In San Antonio: The Constitutionality Of San Antonio's Anti-Homeless Ordinances., Justin Cook Mar 2006

Down And Out In San Antonio: The Constitutionality Of San Antonio's Anti-Homeless Ordinances., Justin Cook

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Race and Social Justice

This comment addresses the constitutionality of two San Antonio anti-homeless ordinances which prohibit camping in public and aggressive panhandling. The population of San Antonio, Texas grows at a rapid rate. Mayor Ed Garza established a task force to address the homelessness problem in San Antonio. This task force developed a ten-year plan to end homelessness in the city. The plan proposed by the year 2014 all homeless individuals would have alternatives and access to safe, decent, and affordable housing as well as resources and support to sustain housing. However, not long after approving the proposal, San Antonio’s City Council presented …


The High Court Remains As Divided As Ever Over The Death Penalty, George H. Kendall Jan 2006

The High Court Remains As Divided As Ever Over The Death Penalty, George H. Kendall

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

More than three decades ago, in Furman v. Georgia, a sharply divided Supreme Court struck down all existing capital punishment schemes be-cause the results they generated were arbitrary, discriminatory, and unreasoned. No member of that Court remains on the Court today, and the Court has grown increasingly conservative ever since. Nevertheless, impor-tant questions concerning the administration of capital punishment continue to wrought deep divisions within the Court, for instance in determining whether racial bias influences the system, in determining the sufficiency of new evidence of innocence to justify review of a defaulted claim in habeas corpus proceedings, in determining a …


Legitimizing Error, Rebecca E. Woodman Jan 2006

Legitimizing Error, Rebecca E. Woodman

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Since Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court has sought to harmonize competing constitutional demands under Eighth Amendment rules regulat-ing the two-step eligibility and selection stages of the capital decision-making process. Furman’s demand for rationality and consistency requires that, at the eligibility stage, the sentencer’s discretion be limited and guided by clear and objective fact-based standards that rationally narrow the class of death-eligible defendants. The selection stage requires a determination of whether a specific death-eligible defendant actually deserves that punish-ment, as distinguished from other death-eligible defendants. Here, fundamental fairness and respect for the uniqueness of the individual are the cornerstones of …


A Prayer For Constitutional Comparativism In Eighth Amendment Cases, David C. Gray Jan 2006

A Prayer For Constitutional Comparativism In Eighth Amendment Cases, David C. Gray

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Narrowing Racial Disparities In Sentencing Through A System Of Mandatory Downward Departures, Douglas Smith Jan 2006

Narrowing Racial Disparities In Sentencing Through A System Of Mandatory Downward Departures, Douglas Smith

The Modern American

No abstract provided.


Stevens's Ratchet: When The Court Should Decide Not To Decide, Joel A. Flaxman Jan 2006

Stevens's Ratchet: When The Court Should Decide Not To Decide, Joel A. Flaxman

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Hidden underneath the racy death penalty issues in Kansas v. Marsh lurks a seemingly dull procedural issue addressed only in separate opinions by Justices Stevens and Scalia: whether the Court should have heard the case in the first place. As he did in three cases from the Court’s 2005 term, Justice Stevens argued in Marsh that the Court has no legitimate interest in reviewing state court decisions that overprotect federal constitutional rights. Instead, the Supreme Court should exercise its certiorari power to tip the scales against states and in favor of individuals. Granting certiorari in Marsh, Stevens argued, was not …


The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker Jan 2006

The Revolution Enters The Court: The Constitutional Significance Of Wrongful Convictions In Contemporary Constitutional Regulation Of The Death Penalty, Jordan Steiker

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

Over the last decade, the most important events in American death pen-alty law have occurred outside the courts. The discovery of numerous wrongfully convicted death-sentenced inmates in Illinois led to the most substantial reflection on the American death penalty system since the late 1960s and early 1970s. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republi-can, first declared a moratorium on executions in 2000 and eventually commuted all 167 inmates on Illinois’s death row in 2003. The events in Illinois reverberated nationwide. Almost overnight, state legislative agendas shifted from expanding or maintaining the prevailing reach of the death penalty to studying its …


Putting The Guesswork Back Into Capital Sentencing, Sean D. O'Brien Jan 2006

Putting The Guesswork Back Into Capital Sentencing, Sean D. O'Brien

Michigan Law Review First Impressions

In 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court deemed it “incon-testable” that a death sentence is cruel and unusual if inflicted “by reason of [the defendant’s] race, religion, wealth, social position, or class, or if it is imposed under a procedure that gives room for the play of such prejudices.” Arbitrary and discriminatory patterns in capital sentencing moved the Court to strike down death penalty statutes that required judges or juries to cast thumbs-up or thumbs-down verdicts against offenders found guilty of capi-tal crimes. The issue of innocence was barely a footnote in Furman; the Court’s concerns focused on …


Tradition & The Abolition Of Capital Punishment For Juvenile Crime, Harry F. Tepker Jr. Jan 2006

Tradition & The Abolition Of Capital Punishment For Juvenile Crime, Harry F. Tepker Jr.

Oklahoma Law Review

No abstract provided.