July 16, 2014
by Jaclyn Belczyk
A judge for the US District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday struck down California's death penalty, finding that it violates the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. US District Judge Cormac Carney ruled on a petition by death row inmate Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was ...[read more]
June 17, 2014
by Sarah Steers
Eighteen US states have abolished the death penalty. Three states- Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin- have completely banned the death penalty since the mid-nineteenth century. Fifteen states abolished the death penalty at various points throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The ...[read more]
June 17, 2014
by Neil Devlin
On June 20, 2002 the Supreme Court decided Atkins v. Virginia where it ruled sentencing intellectually disabled individuals to death is unconstitutional. The Court held such executions are a form of "cruel and unusual punishment," which is categorically prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. The ...[read more]
June 17, 2014
by Zachariah Rivenbark
Since the US Supreme Court first addressed the death penalty the 1879 case Wilkerson v. Utah, the Court has struggled with determining the penalty's constitutional boundaries. In 1976 the court held in Gregg v. Georgia that the imposition of the death penalty does not always violate the Eighth ...[read more]
June 17, 2014
by Michael Roberts
The death penalty has been a permissible form of punishment for certain crimes in the United States throughout the nation's history, with the first recorded case occurring in 1608. The Supreme Court has held on numerous occasions that state proscription of the death penalty is not a violation of ...[read more]
May 27, 2014
by Max Slater
The US Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a Florida law permitting the death penalty for criminal defendants whose IQ is greater than 70 violates the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. The case, Hall v. Florida involved a defendant who was sentenced to death for killing a pregnant woman and ...[read more]
April 2, 2014
by Alexandra Cabonor
JURIST Guest Columnist Paul M. Smith of Jenner & Block discusses the recent oral arguments in Hall v. Florida...In 2002, the US Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia that the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution ...[read more]
October 16, 2013
by Elizabeth Imbarlina
JURIST Guest Columnist Nicole Megale, St. John's University School of Law Class of 2014, is the author of the fifth article in a 10-part series from the staffers of the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development. Megale calls for an abrogation statute to protect a wrongfully executed ...[read more]
March 5, 2013
by Stephanie Kogut
JURIST Guest Columnist Terrica Ganzy, Staff Attorney for the Southern Center for Human Rights, argues that Georgia's "beyond a reasonable doubt standard" for finding mental retardation in capital offenses is a nearly insurmountable standard...The US Supreme Court has held that the Eighth Amendment' ...[read more]
November 19, 2012
by Sarah Paulsworth
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the US Supreme Court decision in Miller v. Alabama, which held that sentencing minors to life without parole constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, will not apply retroactively. The appeals court ruled that the Supreme ...[read more]

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