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LAWS 3393 Death Penalty (Fall: 2 )

Course Description

This seminar will examine legal issues surrounding the death penalty in America from a variety of perspectives. After a review of the goals of punishment and their relation to capital punishment, the course will explore: constitutional challenges to the imposition of the death penalty, focusing on claims relating to equal protection, due process and cruel and unusual punishment; race; special offenders, including juveniles, the mentally retarded; modes of punishment and ethical issues; and the impact of international law. A major focus of the course will include the procedural issues in trials for capital offenses, as well as post-conviction proceedings with a particular emphasis on federal habeas litigation. Materials for the seminar will include a collection of essays providing diverse views of the death penalty, as well as central Supreme Court case law in this area. Seminar requirements will include a final paper, a presentation on the paper; and class participation.


Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 24-Jun-17