LAW 429

Capital Punishment in America

Constitutional & Public Law, Criminal Justice, Critical Race Studies, Human Rights, Public Interest Law

This course provides a general introduction to death penalty law and practice in the United States. We will explore the constitutional and legal structure of capital punishment (i.e., common law authority, state and federal statutes), the procedures regulating capital trials, judicial and executive review, and the seminal social scientific literature analyzing important aspects of capital charging-and-sentencing systems (e.g., deterrence, incapacitation, cost, wrongful convictions, arbitrariness/capriciousness, and bias). This course is designed to complement Law 212 (“Federal Courts”), Law 295 (“Criminal Procedure: Adjudication”), Law 296 (“Habeas Corpus”); Law 711 (“Pre-trial Criminal Litigation”), Law 715 (“Criminal Defense Clinic”), and Law 720 (“Criminal Trial Advocacy”), but those courses are not prerequisites.

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