Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Death Penalty in Con-Law

Con-Law turns into more and more of a Kulturkampf (a word actually used in one of the opinions we read) every day. We started with gender discrimination, did reproductive rights, and last time it was open season on partisan opinions when we discussed gay rights. Today, the penultimate class - the death penalty . . . does anyone *not* have an opinion on this?

The case, Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002) deals with the SCOTUS saying you can't execute mentally retarded people, even if they are murderers and otherwise eligible for the death penalty, because there is overwhelming public opinion against and the 8th amendment prohibits it. Scalia and the late Rehnquist dissent, saying, basically, we should execute mentally retarded people and there's nothing in the 8th amendment that prevents it and the public opinion bit is questionable.

Chances this class turns into ffa on the morality of the death penalty? (ED. No, we actually spent a lot of time learning about things, not so much ffa . .)

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