Section Information for Spring 2017
This course will look at the death penalty in the United States in a global context, including at relevant Supreme Court case law on sentencing, mental illness, and wrongful convictions. On a global level, discussion will also look at methods of execution and the application of capital punishment to political crimes, terrorism, and drug trafficking. Although the death penalty is in decline, a global resurgence of authoritarianism may ensure that the death penalty has life left; certainly, in China and several Islamic countries, executions continue in high numbers. In the United States, states are experimenting with new lethal injection drugs and passing new secrecy laws to avoid scrutiny. What is the future of the death penalty in the United States and the world? If abolition of the death penalty is a mark of "progress" or "civilization," why do mature democracies such as the United States, India, and Japan continue to use it? The course will also consider the role of international institutions, such as the United Nations, European Union, Catholic Church, and human rights organizations in the death penalty debate.
Criminal Justice (CJUS)
Law and Society (LAWS)
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