This course examines the substance and procedural law dealing with capital punishment in the judicial process. The focus of the course is on how the death penalty is being administered today — almost 30 years after the 1976 Supreme Court cases that upheld the constitutionality of selected death penalty statutes. A number of particularly pressing legal problems will be examined, e.g., constitutional challenges to the death penalty; race and gender of defendants given the death penalty; constitutional limitations on death eligibility; the role of aggravating and mitigating circumstances; the sentencing phase of capital cases; the use of expert witnesses; and state and federal habeas corpus review in capital cases. This course offers unique opportunities to examine the law and our legal system from a variety of historical, religious, political, ideological, philosophical, economic, sociological, and other perspectives. Enrollment limited to 16 students. If the instructor allows papers in lieu of examinations, this course may include a qualifying course paper that fulfills one half of the upper level writing requirement. Refer to Academic Rule X — Writing Requirement and Directed Research. Prerequisite: Criminal Procedure: The Investigative Process.
Upper-level course for: