Can we square the invocation of evolving standards of decency with the recognized fact that the criminal justice system in the United States is, in general, far more punitive than it once was? I think that we can, if we allow for a fuller recognition
In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the Eighth Amendment prohibits a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without parole for juvenile homicide offenders. Despite Justice Kagan’s protestations, the Court was not eliminating an outlying vestige of once common, brutal punishment,
United States v. Pleau raises legal questions that deserve more attention than the case is likely to receive. The case can actually be seen as being about the location of the primary police power in the American system of constitutional federalism, and it exposes the
[Update3 - 10PM February 8] Edwin Hart Turner was executed at 7:21PM EST after receiving a lethal injection at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. Turner, represented by attorneys from the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, had filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme
In the upcoming weeks, the legislators of my home state of North Carolina will be faced with a dilemma: how does a government compensate victims of a historical atrocity that was deemed legal at the time? At the national level, this question is often asked
Many studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between the number of women in any given legislature or policy-making body and the extent to which that body takes up issues deemed important for women. On Sunday, the newly-formed United Nations entity, UN Women, announced that it
At the conclusion of oral arguments on Wednesday, pundits were left guessing whether the Supreme Court would declare that Americans’ constitutional right to privacy bars prison officials from strip searching them if and when they are jailed for minor, nonviolent offenses. The case, Florence v.
A round-up of some of the top stories in civil rights and civil liberties news.
Jaycee Dugard has filed suit against the U.S. government, alleging that the failure of law enforcement officers to adequately monitor her captor – a federal parolee – contributed to her nearly twenty-year confinement in a California backyard, during which time she endured multiple rapes. In
U.S. jurisprudence has dealt with constitutional rights since the enactment of the U.S. Constitution. In contrast, it was explicitly decided by the framers of the Australian Constitution to not include a similar Bill of Rights, although the American notions of judicial review, separation of powers,