Tagged eighth amendment

Miller v. Alabama as a Watershed Procedural Rule: The Case for Retroactivity

By Beth Caldwell* Three years ago, in Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that sentencing juveniles to life without parole (LWOP) under mandatory sentencing schemes amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Over the past few years, courts have reached conflicting conclusions regarding whether the rule the Supreme Court pronounced…

SCOTUS Invites Death Row to BYOE (Bring Your Own Executioner)

By Charles McGonigal The death penalty is the government’s deepest moral quagmire. An execution is irrevocable and heavily resembles the crimes that it punishes. To make peace with this decision, society deploys resources to try to avoid executing innocents (due process, defense counsel, mandatory appeals) and to distinguish it from homicide. One of the most…

Guerrilla War Against the Eighth Amendment: The Supreme Court Battles Over Off-Label Drug Lethal Injections

By Rose Carmen Goldberg* A series of botched executions over the past several years has engendered increasing criticism of lethal injection. These high-profile miscarriages have involved prolonged visible suffering, including violent spasms and outcries about intolerable pain. Death row inmates are turning to courts for protection from painful deaths like these. Last month the Supreme…

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