Criminal Justice-coas | Law and Politics of the Death Penalty
P493 | 1470 | Hinsley

For the past 30 years, our nation has sturggled with the use of
capital punishment.  It is both a legal and political phenomenon.  In
Furman v. Georgia, a fractured Supreme Court ruled that the imposition
of the death penalty violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
State legislatures responded quickly, and the Court upheld several
restructured death penalty statues that provided for "guided
discretion" in death penalty decision-making.  These rulings in turn
led to contentious litigation and political debate which has only
intensified over time.  At present, 38 states, the United States
Military, and federal law authorize capital punishemnt under certain
circumstances.  This course will examine the volatile landscape of
capital punishment from Furman to the present, both nationally and

This seminar will require active participation in class discussions.
Evaluations will be based on combination of that class participation,
1 essay exam, and 2 papers.


Acker, James R., Bohm, Robert M. & Lanier, Charles S. (Eds), (1998),
"America's Experiment with Capital Punishemnt:  Reflections on the
Past, Present , and Future of the ultimate Penal Sanction" Durham,
N.C.:  Carolina Academic Press

Selected decisions of the United States Supreme Court on fundamental
issues of constitutional signivicance in death penalty jurisprudence

Selected law review articles

PreJean, Helen, "Dead Man Walking"
Von Drehle, David "Among the Lowest of the Dead"

Class Meeting:  One 150 minute class per week, M, 2:30-5:00P, SY 002

Instructor:  Visiting Professor Tom Hinesley, Criminal Justice