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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 …


"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. …


"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 …


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 …


Merchants And Thieves, Hungry For Power: Prosecutorial Misconduct And Passive Judicial Complicity In Death Penalty Trials Of Defendants With Mental Disabilities, Michael L. Perlin Jan 2016

Merchants And Thieves, Hungry For Power: Prosecutorial Misconduct And Passive Judicial Complicity In Death Penalty Trials Of Defendants With Mental Disabilities, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

In spite of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Ford v. Wainwright (1986), Atkins v. Virginia (2002), and Hall v. Florida (2014), persons with severe psychosocial and intellectual disabilities continue to be given death sentences, in some cases leading to actual execution. Although the courts have been aware of this for decades -- dating back at least to the infamous Ricky Rector case in Arkansas -- these base miscarriages of justice continue and show no sign of abating. Scholars have written clearly and pointedly on this issue (certainly, more frequently since the Atkins decision in 2002), but little has changed.

I …


The Death Of Punishment: Searching For Justice Among The Worst Of The Worst, Robert I. Blecker Jan 2013

The Death Of Punishment: Searching For Justice Among The Worst Of The Worst, Robert I. Blecker

Books

For twelve years Robert Blecker, a criminal law professor at New York Law School, wandered freely inside Lorton Central Prison, armed only with cigarettes and a tape recorder.The Death of Punishment tests legal philosophy against the reality and wisdom of street criminals and their guards. Some killers' poignant circumstances should lead us to mercy; others show clearly why they should die. After thousands of hours over twenty-five years inside maximum security prisons and on death rows in seven states, Professor Blecker exposes the perversity of justice: Inside prison, ironically, it's nobody's job to punish. Thus the worst criminals often …


The Road Not Considered: Revising New Jersey's Death Penalty Statute, Robert Blecker Jan 2008

The Road Not Considered: Revising New Jersey's Death Penalty Statute, Robert Blecker

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


A Poster Child For Us (Symposium: The Effects Of Capital Punishment On The Administration Of Justice), Robert Blecker Jan 2006

A Poster Child For Us (Symposium: The Effects Of Capital Punishment On The Administration Of Justice), Robert Blecker

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


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, …


The Death Penalty As Delineated By The Old Testament: From Adam And Eve To Cain And Abel To Noah And The Flood To Abraham And Sodom To Moses And The Ten Commandments, Biblical Passages Trace The Roots For How Modern Society Deals With The Execution Of Killers, Robert Blecker Nov 2004

The Death Penalty As Delineated By The Old Testament: From Adam And Eve To Cain And Abel To Noah And The Flood To Abraham And Sodom To Moses And The Ten Commandments, Biblical Passages Trace The Roots For How Modern Society Deals With The Execution Of Killers, Robert Blecker

Other Publications

No abstract provided.


Roots "Resolving The Death Penalty: Wisdom From The Ancients", Robert Blecker Jan 2003

Roots "Resolving The Death Penalty: Wisdom From The Ancients", Robert Blecker

Articles & Chapters

Lest it be cruel and unusual, the U.S. Supreme Court has held, capital punishment must be consistent with the evolving standards of decency of a maturing society. Although controversy swirls around our current sense of decency, this Society's changing standards are largely the product of deeply embedded traditions and an unchanging cultural core. Thus, virtually every heated death penalty debate today requires us not only to take the temperature of the people, but also to appreciate their temperament.

ROOTS: Resolving the Death Penalty: Wisdom from the Ancients reflects the current controversy back onto the core of Western Culture - the …


Rethinking The Death Penalty: Can We Define Who Deserves Death?, Martin Leahy, Robert Blecker, William M. Erlbaum, Jeffrey Fagan, Norman Greene, Jeffrey Kirchmeier, David Von Drehle Jan 2003

Rethinking The Death Penalty: Can We Define Who Deserves Death?, Martin Leahy, Robert Blecker, William M. Erlbaum, Jeffrey Fagan, Norman Greene, Jeffrey Kirchmeier, David Von Drehle

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


The Executioner’S Face Is Always Well-Hidden: The Role Of Counsel And The Courts In Determining Who Dies, Michael L. Perlin Jan 1996

The Executioner’S Face Is Always Well-Hidden: The Role Of Counsel And The Courts In Determining Who Dies, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


The Sanist Lives Of Jurors In Death Penalty Cases: The Puzzling Role Of Mitigating Mental Disability Evidence, Michael L. Perlin Jan 1994

The Sanist Lives Of Jurors In Death Penalty Cases: The Puzzling Role Of Mitigating Mental Disability Evidence, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.