CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Christopher on Death Delayed

Russell Christopher (University of Tulsa College of Law) has posted Death Delayed Is Retribution Denied (Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 99, No. 3, 2015) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Does death row incarceration for upwards of thirty years or more impermissibly impose the suffering of additional punishment or permissibly bestow the benefit of death delayed and thus the enjoyment of life extended? Most commentators conceive of it as an unconstitutional additional punishment that is either cruel and unusual or disproportionally excessive. Most courts construe it as a constitutional nonpunishment that the death row prisoner opts for and benefits from. Sparking a long-running debate at the Supreme Court, Justices Stevens and Breyer view prolonged death row incarceration as unconstitutional additional punishment. Terming their view as “meritless” and “a mockery of our system of justice,” Justice Thomas finds it constitutional. Attempting to break this impasse, this Article undertakes the first comprehensive assessment of death row incarceration under what the Supreme Court enthrones as the primary justification for the constitutionality of capital punishment — retributivism. Assuming that retributivism does justify capital punishment per se, this Article demonstrates that the combination of capital punishment plus substantial death row incarceration violates retributivism. Whether such incarceration constitutes additional punishment aggravating capital punishment or a life-extending, beneficial mitigation of capital punishment, the combination is unjustified under retributivism and thus perhaps unconstitutional.

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Intriguing concepts of life, and death, who should die, or why, their livies are pre-longed, at the tax payers expense of the usa.

Posted by: leospittles | Apr 17, 2014 5:12:18 AM

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