CrimProf Blog

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

Boyd on the Rhetoric of Three Strikes

Richard Boyd (San Diego State University) has posted Narratives of Sacrificial Expulsion in the Supreme Court's Affirmation of California's 'Three Strikes and You're Out' Law on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This essay examines 2003’s Ewing v. California and Lockyer v. Andrade, decisions which affirmed the constitutionality of California’s notorious repeat offender sentencing laws. The essay argues that the plurality opinions (written by Justice O’Connor) are, in important ways, richly rhetorical texts that suggest much about the complex intersections between law, rhetoric, and the violence enacted in law’s name. In particular, the essay seeks to uncover the operation of a powerful narrative strategy in her opinions that makes them important rhetorical performances in our collective conversation about crime and punishment in this nation.

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