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Capital punishment

2007

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Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Law

Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean O'Brien Nov 2007

Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean O'Brien

Faculty Works

No abstract provided.


Deciding Death, Corinna Barrett Lain Oct 2007

Deciding Death, Corinna Barrett Lain

Duke Law Journal

When the Supreme Court is deciding death, how much does law matter? Scholars long have lamented the majoritarian nature of the Court's Eighth Amendment '' evolving standards of decency '' doctrine, but their criticism misses the mark. Majoritarian doctrine does not drive the Court's decisions in this area; majoritarian forces elsewhere do. To make my point, I first examine three sets of '' evolving standards '' death penalty decisions in which the Court implicitly or explicitly reversed itself, attacking the legal justification for the Court's change of position and offering an extralegal explanation for why those cases came out the …


The Eighth Amendment, The Death Penalty And Ordinary Robbery-Burglary Murderers: A California Case Study, Steven Shatz Aug 2007

The Eighth Amendment, The Death Penalty And Ordinary Robbery-Burglary Murderers: A California Case Study, Steven Shatz

Steven F. Shatz

Beginning with Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court's seminal case applying the Eighth Amendment to the death penalty, the Court has developed two principles limiting the states' power to define death-eligibility: the principle from Furman and Zant v. Stephens that states are required to "genuinely narrow" the death-eligible class to avoid the risk of arbitrariness in the imposition of the death penalty and the principle from Enmund v. Florida and Tison v. Arizona that the death penalty is a disproportionate punishment for a particular category of murders when it does not comport with contemporary values and serves no penological purpose. …


The Road Not Considered, Robert Blecker Aug 2007

The Road Not Considered, Robert Blecker

robert blecker

“The Road Not Considered” suggests a morally refined death penalty statute as an alternative to abolition or keeping New Jersey’s presently flawed legislation.


The Road Not Considered, Robert Blecker Jul 2007

The Road Not Considered, Robert Blecker

robert blecker

“The Road Not Considered” suggests a morally refined death penalty statute as an alternative to abolition or keeping New Jersey’s presently flawed legislation.


Without Limitation: 'Groundhog Day' For Incompetent Defendants, J. Amy Dillard Jul 2007

Without Limitation: 'Groundhog Day' For Incompetent Defendants, J. Amy Dillard

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers a brief overview of the standards for determining competency to stand trial. After examining the seminal case of Jackson v. Indiana, which held that the indefinite pre-trial detention of incompetent defendants violates due process, this Article argues that Virginia Code § 19.2-169.3, like statutes in twenty other states, violates a defendant's right to substantive due process, including the right to be free from forcible medication. This Article proposes legislation that will make the process constitutional, while addressing the concerns about the release of dangerous individuals held by the prosecutors and the community.


Studying The Death Penalty In Tennessee, Dwight Aarons Jun 2007

Studying The Death Penalty In Tennessee, Dwight Aarons

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Furman'S Mythical Mandate, Scott W. Howe May 2007

Furman'S Mythical Mandate, Scott W. Howe

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article argues for the rescue and reform of Supreme Court doctrine regulating capital sentencing trials under the Eighth Amendment. Many legal commentators, both liberal and conservative, including several members of the Supreme Court, have concluded that the Court's regulation of capital sentencing trials is a disaster. The repeated criticisms rest on a commonly accepted view about a principal goal of capital sentencing regulation. The prevailing account, fueled by the rhetoric of the Justices, stems from the notion that Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 208 (1972), revealed a mandate of consistency in the use of the death penalty that …


The Global Debate On The Death Penalty, Sandra L. Babcock Apr 2007

The Global Debate On The Death Penalty, Sandra L. Babcock

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The debate over capital punishment in the United States - be it in the courts, in state legislatures, or on nationally televised talk shows - is always fraught with emotion. The themes have changed little over the last two or three hundred years. Does it deter crime? If not, is it necessary to satisfy society's desire for retribution against those who commit unspeakably violent crimes? Is it worth the cost? Are murderers capable of redemption? Should states take the lives of their own citizens? Are current methods of execution humane? Is there too great a risk of executing the innocent? …


"It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again": Williams V. Taylor, Wiggins V. Smith, Rompilla V. Beard And A (Partial) Return To The Guidelines Approach To The Effective Assistance Of Counsel, John H. Blume, Stacey D. Neumann Apr 2007

"It's Like Deja Vu All Over Again": Williams V. Taylor, Wiggins V. Smith, Rompilla V. Beard And A (Partial) Return To The Guidelines Approach To The Effective Assistance Of Counsel, John H. Blume, Stacey D. Neumann

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Shoddy lawyering in capital cases is well documented. Many defendants facing the death penalty end up on death row not because of the heinousness of the crime they committed but rather because of the poor quality of trial counsel's performance. Despite the acknowledgment of sometimes shockingly poor representation by academics, litigators and even judges, most post-conviction claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are unsuccessful. Why? The legal standard for adjudicating these allegations which the Court adopted in Strickland v. Washington, which requires a defendant to demonstrate that his lawyer's performance was outside the "wide range of competent assistance" and that …


Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien Apr 2007

Capital Defense Lawyers: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Sean D. O'Brien

Michigan Law Review

Professor Welsh S. White's book Litigating in the Shadow of Death: Defense Attorneys in Capital Cases collects the compelling stories of "a new band of dedicated lawyers" that has "vigorously represented capital defendants, seeking to prevent their executions" (p.3). Sadly, Professor White passed away on New Year's Eve, 2005, days before the release of his final work. To the well-deserved accolades of Professor White that were recently published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, I can only add a poignant comment in a student blog that captures his excellence as a scholar and educator: "I wanted to …


Presumed Guilty: Innocence And The Death Penalty, Sean O'Brien Feb 2007

Presumed Guilty: Innocence And The Death Penalty, Sean O'Brien

Faculty Works

DNA has really changed the way that defense lawyers and prosecutors think about wrongful convictions and about the criminal justice process. But it has not changed it enough.

There are two distinct sets of prisoners who have been declared innocent and released from prison. One consists of DNA exonerees that was developed through the efforts of the innocence projects. The other consists of people who have been on death row who have been exonerated. Only relatively few of the death row exonerations were accomplished with DNA technology. This article examines both lists and discusses a few lessons that we are …


Furman Fundamentals, Corinna Barrett Lain Jan 2007

Furman Fundamentals, Corinna Barrett Lain

Law Faculty Publications

For the first time in a long time, the Supreme Court's most important death penalty decisions all have gone the defendant's way. Is the Court's newfound willingness to protect capital defendants just a reflection of the times, or could it have come even without public support for those protections? At first glance, history allows for optimism. Furman v. Georgia, the 1972 landmark decision that invalidated the death penalty, provides a seemingly perfect example of the Court's ability and inclination to protect capital defendants when no one else will. Furman looks countermajoritarian, scholars have claimed it was countermajoritarian, and even …


Introduction To Morality, Justice And The Law, M. Katherine B. Darmer Jan 2007

Introduction To Morality, Justice And The Law, M. Katherine B. Darmer

M. Katherine B. Darmer

MORALITY, JUSTICE AND THE LAW is a co-edited volume pulling together selections on theories of the moral underpinnings of law, morality and lawyering (including the religious lawyering movement), civil disobedience, capital punishment and immigration. The book was published by Prometheus Books in 2007.


Representing Capital Clients And The Elusive Quest For "Meaningful Access To Justice", Glenda G. Grace Jan 2007

Representing Capital Clients And The Elusive Quest For "Meaningful Access To Justice", Glenda G. Grace

Hofstra Law Review

No abstract provided.


Deciding Death, Corinna Barrett Lain Jan 2007

Deciding Death, Corinna Barrett Lain

Law Faculty Publications

When the Supreme Court is deciding death, how much does law matter? Scholars long have lamented the majoritarian nature of the Court's Eighth Amendment "evolving standards of decency" doctrine, but their criticism misses the mark. Majoritarian doctrine does not drive the Court's decisions in this area; majoritarian forces elsewhere do. To make my point, I first examine three sets of "evolving standards" death penalty decisions in which the Court implicitly or explicitly reversed itself, attacking the legal justification for the Court's change of position and offering an extralegal explanation for why those cases came out the way they did. I …


But Can It Be Fixed? A Look At Constitutional Challenges To Lethal Injection Executions, Ellen Kreitzberg, David Richter Jan 2007

But Can It Be Fixed? A Look At Constitutional Challenges To Lethal Injection Executions, Ellen Kreitzberg, David Richter

Faculty Publications

This article argues that California's Procedure 770 as currently implemented is unconstitutional. Judge Fogel, after an exhaustive review of evidence from all parties,agrees. Although Judge Fogel believes that the lethal injection system, while broken "can be fixed," we argue that lethal injection, as a method of execution, is always unconstitutional because the procedures employed in its administration can never ensure against unnecessary risk of pain to the inmate. We also argue that the California legislature must step in to publicly review lethal injection executions and to investigate the conduct of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in the …


Imposing A Cap On Capital Punishment, Adam M. Gershowitz Jan 2007

Imposing A Cap On Capital Punishment, Adam M. Gershowitz

Missouri Law Review

This Article argues that because prosecutors have discretion to seek the death penalty and too many cases, they lack the incentive to police themselves and choose carefully. Put simply, because there are too few legal constraints - and virtually no political constraints - on the sheer number of cases in which prosecutors can pursue the death penalty, the Government is not under sufficient pressure to limit its use of capital punishment to only the most heinous cases. As a result, two things happen. First, the death penalty is sought and meted out in some cases, which though terrible, are no …


Does Stare Decisis Apply In The Eighth Amendment Death Penalty Context, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2007

Does Stare Decisis Apply In The Eighth Amendment Death Penalty Context, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Throughout the past few decades, the Supreme Court has steadily chipped away at the death penalty. It was only recently, however, that courts have confronted what role precedent plays in the Eighth Amendment death penalty context. Surprisingly, few scholars have yet explored this important and complicated issue. Precedent in this area is unique because the law of the Eighth Amendment is always changing and the Eighth Amendment has been interpreted to be applied more broadly in the death penalty context. This Article argues that precedent in the Eighth Amendment death penalty context does not apply in the typical fashion. Instead …


Pope John Paul Ii, Vatican Ii, And Capital Punishment, Howard Bromberg Jan 2007

Pope John Paul Ii, Vatican Ii, And Capital Punishment, Howard Bromberg

Articles

Part I of this Article describe s Pope John Paul II’s teaching on capital punishment as based on the Scriptures and expressed in Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism. Part II examines the authority with which this doctrine was issued. Part III suggests that this teaching represents the “traditional teaching of the Church,” although a “more perfect expression” of that teaching than has heretofore been recognized. Parts IV and V indicate why the papacy of John Paul II-—“this time, in which God in His hidden design has entrusted to me... very close to the year 2000”-—was ripe for this explicit articulation …


Bad Nature, Bad Nurture, And Testimony Regarding Maoa And Slc6a4 Genotyping In Murder Trials, Nita A. Farahany, William Bernet, Cindy L. Vnencak-Jones, Stephen A. Montgomery Jan 2007

Bad Nature, Bad Nurture, And Testimony Regarding Maoa And Slc6a4 Genotyping In Murder Trials, Nita A. Farahany, William Bernet, Cindy L. Vnencak-Jones, Stephen A. Montgomery

Faculty Scholarship

Recent research—in which subjects were studied longitudinally from childhood until adulthood—has started to clarify how a child’s environment and genetic makeup interact to create a violent adolescent or adult. For example, male subjects who were born with a particular allele of the monoamine oxidase A gene and also were maltreated as children had a much greater likelihood of manifesting violent antisocial behavior as adolescents and adults. Also, individuals who were born with particular alleles of the serotonin transporter gene and also experienced multiple stressful life events were more likely to manifest serious depression and suicidality. This research raises the question …


Categorical Exclusions From Capital Punishment: How Many Wrongs Make A Right?, Dora W. Klein Jan 2007

Categorical Exclusions From Capital Punishment: How Many Wrongs Make A Right?, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

The two categorical exclusions of age and mental capacity will impact not only those offenders who are excluded from the death penalty, but also those offenders who remain subject to this punishment. The Supreme Court’s decisions in Roper v. Simmons and Atkins v. Virginia raise the issue that a capital-punishment-limiting decision possesses wrongs of its own. Both decisions limit the death penalty—Roper excludes from this punishment offenders who committed their crimes before they were eighteen years old and Atkins excludes offenders who are mentally retarded. But in both cases, the Supreme Court overstated the uniformity and universality of traits associated …


Slow Dancing With Death: The Supreme Court And Capital Punishment, 1963-2006, James S. Liebman Jan 2007

Slow Dancing With Death: The Supreme Court And Capital Punishment, 1963-2006, James S. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This Article addresses four questions:

Why hasn't the Court left capital punishment unregulated, as it has other areas of substantive criminal law? The Court is compelled to decide the death penalty's constitutionality by the peculiar responsibility it bears for this form of state violence.

Why didn't the Court abolish the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia after finding every capital statute and verdict unconstitutional? The Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause was too opaque to reveal whether the death penalty was unlawful for some or all crimes and, if not, whether there were law-bound ways to administer it. So the Court …


Neuroimaging And The "Complexity" Of Capital Punishment, O. Carter Snead Jan 2007

Neuroimaging And The "Complexity" Of Capital Punishment, O. Carter Snead

Journal Articles

The growing use of brain imaging technology to explore the causes of morally, socially, and legally relevant behavior is the subject of much discussion and controversy in both scholarly and popular circles. From the efforts of cognitive neuroscientists in the courtroom and the public square, the contours of a project to transform capital sentencing both in principle and in practice have emerged. In the short term, these scientists seek to play a role in the process of capital sentencing by serving as mitigation experts for defendants, invoking neuroimaging research on the roots of criminal violence to support their arguments. Over …


Furman's Mythical Mandate, Scott Howe Dec 2006

Furman's Mythical Mandate, Scott Howe

Scott W. Howe

This Article argues for the rescue and reform of Supreme Court doctrine regulating capital sentencing trials under the Eighth Amendment. Many legal commentators, both liberal and conservative, including several members of the Supreme Court, have concluded that the Court's regulation of capital sentencing trials is a disaster. The repeated criticisms rest on a commonly accepted view about a principal goal of capital sentencing regulation. The prevailing account, fueled by the rhetoric of the Justices, stems from the notion that Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 208 (1972), revealed a mandate of consistency in the use of the death penalty that the …