INDEX



Document(s)

Capital Punishment As Human Sacrifice: A Societal Ritual as Depicted in George Elliot’s Adam Bede

By Roberta M. Harding / Buffalo Law Review 48, 175-248, on 1 January 2000


2000

Article

United States


More details See the document

The ritual slaughter of humans for sacrificial purposes has an ancient provenance. Few members of modern society would be inclined to believe that killing humans for sacrificial purposes continues. Of those, most probably envision it only being practiced by individuals who belong to “uncivilized,” or non-“First-World” cultures. Upon closer scrutiny, however, it becomes apparent that this is a misconception because the past and present practice of capital punishment includes a thinly disguised manifestation of the ritualized killing of people, otherwise known as human sacrifice. The purpose of this article is to identify, describe, and analyze the historic and contemporary connection between the practices of capital punishment and human sacrifice. After describing how human sacrifice constitutes an integral component of capital punishment, it will be argued that the institutionalization of this antiquated barbaric ritual, vis-a-vis the use of capital punishment, renders the present use of the death penalty in the United States incompatible with “the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society”; and that consequently, this facet of capital punishment renders the penalty at odds with the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against the infliction of “cruel and unusual” punishments.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment,

Document(s)

The Role of Organized Religions in Changing Death Penalty Debates

By Michael L. Radelet / William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, on 1 January 2000


Article


More details See the document

In his Article, Professor Michael L. Radelet describes a global decline in the use of the death penalty, the United Nation’s progressively stronger stance against executions, and a growing opposition to capital punishment in the United States. This decrease is attributed to both empirical studies casting doubt on the death penalty’s efficacy in promoting its stated underlying goals, and to the increasingly vocal stance of religious leaders morally opposed to capital punishment. Nevertheless, the decline in other justifications for capital punishment has been met with increasing reliance on retribution as the primary argument in its support. Professor Radelet argues that retribution’s moral, rather than empirical, base makes it an issue largely within the purview of religious denominations, the traditional source of a community’s moral authority. Professor Radelet predicts that religious leaders’ increasing opposition to the flawed administration of the death penalty, rather than their lesser support for the abstract concept of capital punishment, will tip the balance toward its abolition in America.

  • Document type Article
  • Themes list Religion ,

Document(s)

The ‘Shocking Truth’ About the Electric Chair: An Analysis of the Unconstitutionality of Electrocution

By Dawn Macready / Ohio Northern University Law Review, on 1 January 2000


Article

United States


More details See the document

Cruel and unusual punishment, as prohibited by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, encompasses punishment that amounts to torture and barbarity, cruel and degrading punishment not known to the common law, and punishment so disproportionate to the offense as to shock the moral sense of the community. Thus, contained in the Eighth Amendment is a fundamental respect for humanity. For the imposition of a death sentence, the trier is constitutionally mandated to take into account the character and record of the individual offender and the circumstances of the particular offense. What constitutes cruel and unusual punishment?

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Electrocution,

Document(s)

Capital Punishment at the United Nations: Recent Developments

By Ilias Bantekas / Peter Hodgkinson / Criminal Law Forum, on 1 January 2000


Article


More details See the document

The article discusses the difficulties and controversies surrounding the 1999 Draft Resolution on the Death Penalty to the United Nations General Assembly.

  • Document type Article
  • Themes list Networks,

Document(s)

Politics and The Death Penalty: Can Rational Discourse and Due Process Survive the Perceived Political Pressure?

By Norman Redlich / Fordham Urban Law Journal, on 1 January 1994


1994

Article

United States


More details See the document

This article is a transcript from a program sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities entitled, “Politics and the Death Penalty: Can Rational Discourse and Due Process Survive the Perceived Political Pressure?” In it, Norman Redlich discusses his experience litigating organizing the New York State Justice-PAC, a political action committee which promoted anti-death penalty candidates for the New York State legislature, and challenges the notion that there is overwhelming public support in the United States of America for the death penalty.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Public debate, Death Penalty, Country/Regional profiles,