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Full-Text Articles in Law

Testing Penry And Its Progeny , Deborah W. Denno Oct 1994

Testing Penry And Its Progeny , Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

In Penry v. Lynaugh, the United States Supreme Court held that the Texas death penalty statute was applied unconstitutionally because the trial court gave no instructions allowing the jury to “consider and give effect to” the defendant's mitigating evidence of organic brain damage, moderate retardation, and disadvantaged background. The Court considered these mitigating factors relevant because of society's steadfast belief in the lesser culpability of defendants whose criminal acts are due to a disadvantaged background, or to emotional and mental disorders. The jury must have full consideration of such evidence in order to give its “reasoned moral response” to the …


“Endgame”: Competency And The Execution Of Condemned Inmates—A Proposal To Satisfy The Eighth Amendment's Prohibition Against The Infliction Of Cruel And Unusual Punishment, Roberta M. Harding Jan 1994

“Endgame”: Competency And The Execution Of Condemned Inmates—A Proposal To Satisfy The Eighth Amendment's Prohibition Against The Infliction Of Cruel And Unusual Punishment, Roberta M. Harding

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The first section of this Article provides a brief historical overview of the proscription against executing the incompetent and the proffered rationales. This section also examines key factors contributing to the increase in the number of mentally dysfunctional condemned inmates. Then the Article explores the traditional competency-to-execute model that remains in use. This analysis will include a discussion of specific issues, such as: the term used to describe the requisite mental affliction, how that term is defined in order to identify who may ultimately benefit from the rule in Ford v. Wainwright, what standard is appropriate to determine whether …


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.


Is Electrocution An Unconstitutional Method Of Execution? The Engineering Of Death Over The Century, Deborah W. Denno Jan 1994

Is Electrocution An Unconstitutional Method Of Execution? The Engineering Of Death Over The Century, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

This Article provides the Eighth Amendment analysis of electrocution that the courts thus far have not approached. The analysis has two parts. The first inquires whether, according to available scientific evidence, electrocution amounts to cruel and unusual punishment even if it is administered as planned. The second inquires whether, in light of the frequency with which electrocutions are botched, continuing the practice amounts to cruel and unusual punishment even if the properly administered electrocution would not.


Politics And The Death Penalty: Can Rational Discourse And Due Process Survive The Perceived Political Pressure?, Norman Redlich Jan 1994

Politics And The Death Penalty: Can Rational Discourse And Due Process Survive The Perceived Political Pressure?, Norman Redlich

Fordham Urban Law Journal

This article is a transcript from a program sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities entitled, “Politics and the Death Penalty: Can Rational Discourse and Due Process Survive the Perceived Political Pressure?” In it, Norman Redlich, former Dean of New York University Law School, James Coleman, Shabata Sundiata Waglini, Attorney General Ernest Preate, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center, journalist Nat Hentoff, New York State Assemblywoman Susan John, and Chief Justice Exum of the North Carolina Supreme Court discuss the issue of the death penalty in America. Redlich discusses …


Commentary, Ronald J. Tabak Jan 1994

Commentary, Ronald J. Tabak

Fordham Urban Law Journal

Ronald J. Tabak, Chair of the Committee on the Death Penalty for the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, discusses the Section's purpose in organizing Forhdam University School of Law's panel discussion on "Politics and the Death Penalty." The goal was to illuminate the variety of effects of a widespread perception that the belief of legislators, governors, prosecutors, judges, clemency boards, political candidates and others that the public is overwhelmingly in support of capital punishment. The Section aimed to bring together knowledgeable people from a variety of perspectives to discuss (a) how the capital punishment system and …


Hardening Of The Attitudes: Americans' Views On The Death Penalty, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1994

Hardening Of The Attitudes: Americans' Views On The Death Penalty, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

American support for the death penalty has steadily increased since 1966, when opponents outnumbered supporters, and now in the mid-1990s is at a near record high. Research over the last 20 years has tended to confirm the hypothesis that most people’s death penalty attitudes (pro or con) are based on emotion rather than information or rational argument. People feel strongly about the death penalty, know little about it, and feel no need to know more. Factual information (e.g., about deterrence and discrimination) is generally irrelevant to people’s attitudes, and they are aware that this is so. Support for the death …


Depravity Thrice Removed: Using The 'Heinous, Cruel, Or Depraved' Factor To Aggravate Convictions Of Nontriggermen Accomplices In Capital Cases, Richard W. Garnett Jan 1994

Depravity Thrice Removed: Using The 'Heinous, Cruel, Or Depraved' Factor To Aggravate Convictions Of Nontriggermen Accomplices In Capital Cases, Richard W. Garnett

Journal Articles

In Tison v. Arizona, the Tison brothers' appeal from their death sentences, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a nontriggerman convicted of first-degree felony murder could constitutionally be executed if he was a major participant in the crime and if he exhibited a reckless disregard for human life. This decision blurred the bright-line rule announced just five years earlier in Enmund v. Florida, which limited the death penalty to defendants who kill, attempt to kill, or at least intend to kill. Tison thus dramatically increased the exposure of nontriggermen to capital punishment, undercutting the death penalty's limited purpose of identifying …


Deciding To Kill: Revealing The Gender In The Task Handed To Capital Jurors, Joan W. Howarth Jan 1994

Deciding To Kill: Revealing The Gender In The Task Handed To Capital Jurors, Joan W. Howarth

Scholarly Works

Day after day, across this country, ordinary people are summoned to court for a selection process that ultimately leaves them in a room deciding, with other jurors, whether a criminal defendant should be killed. The task handed to these jurors is an awesome, personal, moral decision, encased within the complex legal standards and procedures that constitute modern capital jurisprudence. The doctrine that created and sustains this moment of conscience reflects an ongoing struggle of rule against uncertainty, reason against emotion, justice against mercy, and thus, at one level, male against female. Capital jurisprudence -- the law for deciding whether to …


Reassessing The Individualization Mandate In Capital Sentencing: Darrow's Defense Of Leopold And Loeb, Scott W. Howe Dec 1993

Reassessing The Individualization Mandate In Capital Sentencing: Darrow's Defense Of Leopold And Loeb, Scott W. Howe

Scott W. Howe

This article begins by recounting the story of Clarence Darrow's defense of Leopold and Loeb in 1924. The account is based heavily on a recently republished trial transcript. The Leopold and Loeb trial captured world-wide attention and, even today, continues to engender interest and controversy. It was apparently the first instance of an elaborate psychological defense offered in mitigation to avoid the death penalty for defendants who conceded their guilt of a horrendous murder. Darrow's summation in the case is also considered one of the most spectacular examples in history of legal advocacy.

After describing Darrow's extrordinary defense at length, …