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Evolving Standards of Decency

Evolving Standards of Decency PDF Author: Mary Welek Atwell
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820467115
Category : Capital punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 192
Book Description
The Supreme Court has looked to «evolving standards of decency» in determining whether the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Evolving Standards of Decency examines the ways in which popular culture portrays the death penalty. By analyzing literature and film, Atwell argues that capital punishment becomes much more complex when both offenders and victims are presented as fully developed individuals. Numerous books and films from the last several decades expose flaws in the criminal justice system and provide audiences with stories that raise questions about race, class, and actual innocence in the administration of the ultimate punishment. Although most people will not read legal briefs supporting or challenging the death penalty, many will see films or read novels that raise issues about its fairness. Themes and images gathered through popular culture may ultimately influence whether Americans continue to believe that capital punishment conforms to their evolving standards of decency and justice. Those studying justice issues, corrections, or capital punishment will find this an accessible and provocative work that places the stories read in novels or seen in movies in the context of the legal system that has the power of life and death.

Evolving Standards of Decency

Evolving Standards of Decency PDF Author: Mary Welek Atwell
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9780820467115
Category : Capital punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 192
Book Description
The Supreme Court has looked to «evolving standards of decency» in determining whether the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Evolving Standards of Decency examines the ways in which popular culture portrays the death penalty. By analyzing literature and film, Atwell argues that capital punishment becomes much more complex when both offenders and victims are presented as fully developed individuals. Numerous books and films from the last several decades expose flaws in the criminal justice system and provide audiences with stories that raise questions about race, class, and actual innocence in the administration of the ultimate punishment. Although most people will not read legal briefs supporting or challenging the death penalty, many will see films or read novels that raise issues about its fairness. Themes and images gathered through popular culture may ultimately influence whether Americans continue to believe that capital punishment conforms to their evolving standards of decency and justice. Those studying justice issues, corrections, or capital punishment will find this an accessible and provocative work that places the stories read in novels or seen in movies in the context of the legal system that has the power of life and death.

The Question of Evolving Standards of Decency and the Modern Concept of American Childhood in the Supreme Court

The Question of Evolving Standards of Decency and the Modern Concept of American Childhood in the Supreme Court PDF Author: Kari Peterson
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category :
Languages : en
Pages :
Book Description
Modern Americans increasingly perceive childhood as a distinct stage of life. As a result, the legal recognition of psychological differences between juveniles and adults in a series of Supreme Court cases has rendered juveniles under the age of eighteen as less culpable during criminal sentencing. This increasingly liberal attitude in the courts towards juvenile punishment has been officially established through Eighth Amendment jurisprudence in three major Supreme Court cases: Roper v. Simmons (2005), Graham v. Florida (2010), and Miller v. Alabama (2012). Roper v. Simmons established the precedent of leniency towards juveniles by abolishing the death penalty for minors under eighteen years of age. Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama followed, establishing that life imprisonment for juveniles for a homicidal crime and for a non-homicidal crime respectively are unconstitutional. After close analysis of these landmark cases in juvenile sentencing, there is substantial evidence that the Supreme Court did not simply rely on an interpretation of the text of the Eighth Amendments cruel and unusual punishment clause, as elaborated in earlier jurisprudence, but instead looked towards current societys moral opinion as a determining factor in the rulings. The Courts majority relied on the concept of evolving standards of decency in society, ruling that societys current ideas about juveniles place within both the nation and the world render harsh punishments typically applied to adults to be cruel and unusual for juveniles, in this sense counter to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. To pinpoint societys current attitude toward juveniles, this thesis entails a close evaluation of the amicus briefs used by the Court. The examination of amicus briefs is the central contribution of this thesis. My comparison of texts of the briefs and the majority rulings indicates that the Courts majorities were influenced by the briefs. Sixteen out of the eighteen briefs submitted supported the evolving standards of decency view and incorporated social science evidence. Using Roper v. Simmons as an example, the majority opinion echoed sources that claimed to represent societys prevailing attitudes about juveniles, most significantly, submitted by advocacy groups, legal and medical professionals, and international human rights organizations. This thesis evaluates how these amicus briefs articulated the opinions of a number of groups within American society to place juveniles in a separate and protected class of citizens. Judging by textual comparisons, the majority on the Court responded to this action by paying greater attention to the shifting opinions of morality within society than the words of the Constitution. In doing so, the majority accepted social science evidence as a legitimate indicator of evolving standards of decency and affirmed that public opinion should be relevant in judicial rulings. The dissents in Roper took issue with the relevance of changing values as indicated by social scientific evidence. Briefs submitted by groups favorable to a strict constitutional basis of judgement challenged the majoritys opinion, displaying many connections to the dissents.

Prisoners' Rights

Prisoners' Rights PDF Author: John A. Fliter
Publisher: Praeger
ISBN:
Category : Prisoners
Languages : en
Pages : 248
Book Description
Prisoners' rights is an area of constitutional law that is often overlooked. Combining an historical and strategic analysis, this study describes the doctrinal development of the constitutional rights of prisoners from the pre-Warren Court period through the current Rehnquist Court. Like many provisions in the Bill of Rights, the meaning of the Eighth Amendment's language on cruel and unusual punishment and the scope of prisoners' rights have been influenced by prevailing public opinion, interest group advocacy, and--most importantly--the ideological values of the nine individuals who sit on the Supreme Court. These variables are incorporated in a strategic analysis of judicial decision making in an attempt to understand the constitutional development of rights in this area. Fliter examines dozens of cases spanning 50 years and provides a systematic analysis of strategic interaction on the Supreme Court. His results support the notion that justices do not simply vote their policy preferences; some seek to influence their colleagues and the broader legal community. In many cases there was evidence of strategic interaction in the form of voting fluidity, substantive opinion revisions, dissents from denial of certiorari, and lobbying to form a majority coalition. The analysis reaches beyond death penalty cases and includes noncapital cases arising under the Eighth Amendment, habeas corpus petitions, conditions of confinement cases, and due process claims.

The abolitionist's dilemma

The abolitionist's dilemma PDF Author: Dwight Aarons
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Capital punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 27
Book Description


Assessing the "evolving Standards of Decency"

Assessing the Author: Rachel A. Kalbeitzer
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Capital punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 112
Book Description


Unconstitutional Solitude

Unconstitutional Solitude PDF Author: Charlie Eastaugh
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319617354
Category : Social Science
Languages : en
Pages : 233
Book Description
This book examines American solitary confinement – in which around 100,000 prisoners are held at any one time – and argues that under a moral reading of individual rights such punishment is not only a matter of public interest, but requires close constitutional scrutiny. While Eighth Amendment precedent has otherwise experienced a generational fixation on the death penalty, this book argues that such scrutiny must be extended to the hidden corners of the US prison system. Despite significant reforms to capital sentencing by the executive and legislative branches, Eastaugh shows how the American prison system as a whole has escaped meaningful judicial oversight. Drawing on a wide range of socio-political contexts in order to breathe meaning into the moral principles underlying the punishments clause, the study includes an extensive review of professional (medico-legal) consensus and comparative transnational human rights standards united against prolonged solitary confinement. Ultimately, Eastaugh argues that this practice is unconstitutional. An informed and empowering text, this book will be of particular interest to scholars of law, punishment, and the criminal justice system.

Evolving Standards of Decency

Evolving Standards of Decency PDF Author: Vincent James Strickler
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 118
Book Description


Capital Punishment for Mentally Lll Offenders

Capital Punishment for Mentally Lll Offenders PDF Author: Michele Pich
Publisher:
ISBN:
Category : Capital punishment
Languages : en
Pages : 102
Book Description
In recent years, several landmark cases have excluded groups of offenders from capital punishment eligibility on the basis of diminished capacity and evolving standards of decency. The current study examined data from 203 university students to examine the evolving standards of decency regarding death penalty eligibility for individuals with mental health diagnoses. Participants were provided with one of four case vignettes, which varied only by mental health diagnosis, and asked to sentence the defendant in the vignette to death or to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Results revealed that sentencing decision differed by diagnosis; participants sentenced the defendant with Paranoid Schizophrenia less harshly than they did the defendants with Bipolar I Disorder without psychotic features, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and no mental health diagnosis. Perceived level of responsibility for the crime did not significantly mediate the relationship between diagnosis and sentencing decision.

Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties

Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties PDF Author: Paul Finkelman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113594704X
Category : Law
Languages : en
Pages : 2304
Book Description
This Encyclopedia on American history and law is the first devoted to examining the issues of civil liberties and their relevance to major current events while providing a historical context and a philosophical discussion of the evolution of civil liberties. Coverage includes the traditional civil liberties: freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. In addition, it also covers concerns such as privacy, the rights of the accused, and national security. Alphabetically organized for ease of access, the articles range in length from 250 words for a brief biography to 5,000 words for in-depth analyses. Entries are organized around the following themes: organizations and government bodies legislation and legislative action, statutes, and acts historical overviews biographies cases themes, issues, concepts, and events. The Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties is an essential reference for students and researchers as well as for the general reader to help better understand the world we live in today.

Prisoners' Rights

Prisoners' Rights PDF Author: David L. Hudson
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
ISBN: 1438106149
Category : Electronic books
Languages : en
Pages : 108
Book Description
The movement for prisoners' rights is based on the idea that prisoners, though they are deprived of liberty, are entitled to other basic human rights. What rights and privileges should be accorded to those who are incarcerated? This work examines this issue from different perspectives, incorporating excerpts from legal documents, and court cases.