Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

Taking Corrigibility Seriously, Dora Klein Jan 2023

Taking Corrigibility Seriously, Dora Klein

Faculty Articles

This article argues that the Supreme Court's creation of a category of "irreparably corrupt" juveniles is not only an epistemological mistake but also a tactical mistake which has undermined the Court's express desire that only in the "rarest" of cases will juveniles be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi Jan 2021

When Mental Health Meets “The One-Armed Man” Defense: How Courts Should Deal With Mccoy Defendants, Farid Seyyedi

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The Supreme Court’s opinion in McCoy v. Louisiana held that a defendant has a constitutional right to insist their attorney not concede guilt as to any element of an offense, even if doing so is the only reasonable trial strategy to give the defendant a chance at life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Under McCoy’s holding, a defendant can insist on maintaining their innocence—even in the face of overwhelming evidence—and force their attorney to pursue a defense that will land them on death row. The Supreme Court’s holding makes clear that a strategic concession of guilt at trial—over …


Texas, The Death Penalty, And Intellectual Disability, Megan Green Oct 2019

Texas, The Death Penalty, And Intellectual Disability, Megan Green

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


Deterrence, David Crump Jan 2018

Deterrence, David Crump

St. Mary's Law Journal

Abstract forthcoming


The Dignity Of The Human Person: Catholic Social Teaching And The Practice Of Criminal Punishment, Dora W. Klein Jan 2014

The Dignity Of The Human Person: Catholic Social Teaching And The Practice Of Criminal Punishment, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

The moral foundation that supports the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty is wide and deep. This Article proposes that despite the oft-repeated maxim that "death is different," the same foundation that supports efforts to abolish the death penalty can also support those who seek to achieve other reforms in the practice of criminal punishment.


The Mentally Disordered Criminal Defendant At The Supreme Court: A Decade In Review, Dora W. Klein Jan 2012

The Mentally Disordered Criminal Defendant At The Supreme Court: A Decade In Review, Dora W. Klein

Faculty Articles

In the past decade, at least eight cases involving issues at the intersection of criminal law and clinical psychology have reached the United States Supreme Court. Of particular interest are those cases which concern three general topics: the culpability of juvenile offenders; mental states and the criminal process, including the presentation of mental disorder evidence, competency to stand trial, and competency to be executed; and the preventive detention of convicted sex offenders.

Of these eight cases, two cases cases adopted categorical exclusions from certain kinds of punishment, three involved questions about mental states (and in two of these the Court …


Using International Human Rights Law To Combat Racial Discrimination In The U.S. Criminal Justice System., Terrence Rogers Dec 2011

Using International Human Rights Law To Combat Racial Discrimination In The U.S. Criminal Justice System., Terrence Rogers

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

Statistics tend to show Black people commit most of the crime in the United States. Those statistics fail to account for unequal treatment of minorities at each stage of the criminal justice system. This unequal treatment may take the form of buy-and-bust operations, racial profiling, street sweeps, and other police activities which target people in low-income communities populated mainly by minorities. The American criminal justice system contains a cyclical, self-perpetuating aspect to the treatment of certain minorities. These perceptions direct a disproportionate amount of law enforcement attention on minorities, which leads to disproportionate arrests of minorities. The result shows racial …


Texas Law's Life Or Death Rule In Capital Sentencing: Scrutinizing Eight Amendment Violations And The Case Of Juan Guerrero, Jr., John Niland, Riddhi Dasgupta Jan 2009

Texas Law's Life Or Death Rule In Capital Sentencing: Scrutinizing Eight Amendment Violations And The Case Of Juan Guerrero, Jr., John Niland, Riddhi Dasgupta

St. Mary's Law Journal

The United States Supreme Court has never explained the Eighth Amendment’s impact in noncapital cases involving a mentally retarded or brain-injured defendant. The Court has not provided guidance to legislatures or lower courts concerning the acceptable balancing of aggravating and mitigating factors and the role that mitigating factors must play in the sentencing decision. A definitive gap exists between the protections afforded to a criminal defendant facing a life sentence as opposed to those confronted with the death penalty. The Court requires sentencing procedures to consider aggravating and mitigating factors, including mental retardation and brain damage, when imposing a death …


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 …


Feminism And Defending Men On Death Row Symposium: Thoughts On Death Penalty Issues 25 Years After Furman V. Georgia., Phyllis L. Crocker Jan 1998

Feminism And Defending Men On Death Row Symposium: Thoughts On Death Penalty Issues 25 Years After Furman V. Georgia., Phyllis L. Crocker

St. Mary's Law Journal

In this Essay I explore the relationship between being a feminist and representing men on death row. It is appropriate to engage in this inquiry in considering how the law has developed in the twenty-five years since Furman v. Georgia. During that time both Furman and the advent of feminist legal theory have required a restructuring in the way we think about two fundamental legal questions: for death penalty jurisprudence, how and why we sentence individuals to death; and for feminist jurisprudence, how the law views crimes of violence against women. The relationship between these two developments becomes apparent when …


Capital Punishment In Jewish Law And Its Application To The American Legal System: A Conceptual Overview Symposium: Thoughts On Death Penalty Issues 25 Years After Furman V. Georgia., Samuel J. Levine Jan 1998

Capital Punishment In Jewish Law And Its Application To The American Legal System: A Conceptual Overview Symposium: Thoughts On Death Penalty Issues 25 Years After Furman V. Georgia., Samuel J. Levine

St. Mary's Law Journal

In recent years, a growing body of scholarship has developed in the United States which applies concepts in Jewish law to unsettled, controversial and challenging areas of American legal thought. One area of Jewish legal thought that has found prominence in both American court opinions and American legal scholarship concerns the approach taken by Jewish law to capital punishment. In this Essay, Levine discusses the issue of the death penalty in Jewish law as it relates to the question of the death penalty in American law, a discussion that requires the rejection of simplistic conclusions and the confrontation of the …


Capital Punishment: The Humanistic And Moral Issues Address., Helen Prejean Jan 1995

Capital Punishment: The Humanistic And Moral Issues Address., Helen Prejean

St. Mary's Law Journal

Death row reminds us that justice is not equal. Death sentences, opposed to being reserved for only the most heinous crimes, are generally related to the profile of the victim and identity of those most outraged by the crime. The majority of people on death row killed a white person, even though one-half of homicide victims in the United States are people of color. Because of this, and the fact that the law almost always sides with people of wealth and power, the death penalty works to compound societal trauma instead of healing or solving anything. The skewed and harmful …


A License To Kill: The Categorical Exemption Of The Mentally Retarded From The Death Penalty., David L. Rumley Jan 1993

A License To Kill: The Categorical Exemption Of The Mentally Retarded From The Death Penalty., David L. Rumley

St. Mary's Law Journal

This Comment will show there is no merit to the argument the Eighth Amendment prohibits the imposition of capital punishment on all persons considered mentally retarded. This Comment begins with an overview of the historical treatment of mental disabilities, articulating the levels of mental deficiency required for exculpation of criminal responsibility. Next, this Comment discusses the characteristics of persons with mental retardation. This Comment will also discuss the recently enacted statutes’ use of I.Q. tests for determinations of mental retardation. In analyzing these statutes, it becomes apparent a person’s I.Q. should not be prima-facie proof of mental retardation, although state …


Evidence Of Religion And The Religion Of Evidence, Michael S. Ariens Jan 1992

Evidence Of Religion And The Religion Of Evidence, Michael S. Ariens

Faculty Articles

When testimony about the religiosity of a victim is elicited, a jury will likely become aware of the religious affiliation of the victim. Any revelation to a jury of the religiosity of a victim can be an aid to the jury in assessing the punishment to be given to the defendant, since being religious and talking with people about religion is deemed a communal good. However, prescribing a harsher punishment to a defendant because of the religious affiliation of a victim is a form of religious discrimination which is unconstitutional. In light of this inherent difficulty of evidence of religion, …


The Scope Of The Eighth Amendment Does Not Include A Per Se Bar To The Use Of Victim Impact Evidence In The Sentencing Phase Of A Capital Trial., Jimmie O. Clements Jr. Jan 1991

The Scope Of The Eighth Amendment Does Not Include A Per Se Bar To The Use Of Victim Impact Evidence In The Sentencing Phase Of A Capital Trial., Jimmie O. Clements Jr.

St. Mary's Law Journal

In Payne v. Tennessee, the United States Supreme Court held the scope of the Eighth Amendment does not include a per se bar to the use of victim impact evidence in the sentencing phase of a capital trial. As a result of Payne, the realm of information admissible during the sentencing phase of a capital trial now includes victim impact evidence. The use of victim impact evidence improperly diverts the sentencer’s attention away from the defendant’s moral blameworthiness to the victim’s character and reputation. Although advocates of victim’s rights may see this decision as a victory, the reasoning of the …


Trial And Appellate Criminal Procedure, John M. Schmolesky Jan 1990

Trial And Appellate Criminal Procedure, John M. Schmolesky

Faculty Articles

Recent state and federal decisions significantly influenced Texas criminal procedure at both the trial and appellate levels. These decisions generally affected three main areas of the punishment stage of Texas criminal trials. First, they defined the scope of evidence admissible at the punishment stage. Second, they addressed procedural and substantive questions concerning the special punishment issue of use or exhibition of a deadly weapon. Third, they raised substantial questions about the constitutionality of the death penalty as applied by Texas courts.

Texas courts also faced numerous challenges in the aftermath of several important state and federal constitutional decisions. These decisions …