Capital Punishment

This seminar course examines the social, moral, and legal implications of capital punishment, with a particular focus on decisions of the Supreme Court since the early 1970s. Main themes of the course will include: jury selection; the allocation of decisionmaking authority between judges and juries; the right to counsel in death cases; the role of aggravating and mitigating factors; efforts to limit the arbitrary or racially discriminatory application of the death penalty; the rules governing juveniles and the mentally ill; the federal death penalty; the influence and relevance of foreign practice; and constitutional challenges to methods of execution.
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