Course Information

Course Number




Area of Study & Practice

  • Criminal Law and Procedure

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.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.