Death Penalty scholars and abolitionists have long struggled to find an effective interpretation of the Eighth Amendment to address the failures of the Supreme Court's constitutional regulation of the death penalty. Based in historical and quantitative research, this paper identifies and combines two categories of death penalty abolitionism that argue effectively against capital punishment. The paper works forward from Founding-era primary sources on capital punishment through complex Supreme Court precedents and the challenges of constitutional regulation of the death penalty, culminating in an integration of multiple strains of death penalty abolitionism into an historically informed interpretation of the Eighth Amendment well-within the Supreme Court's established parameters for constitutional death penalty litigation. While this paper is squarely against the death penalty, its chief aim is to develop a new and comprehensive interpretation of the Eighth Amendment and provide the necessary evidentiary ammunition for its use.
"The Mere Extinguishment of [Human] Life,"
International Social Science Review: Vol. 96:
4, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/issr/vol96/iss4/3
Civil Rights and Discrimination Commons, Constitutional Law Commons, Criminal Law Commons, Criminal Procedure Commons, Law and Philosophy Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legal History Commons, Political Science Commons, Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration Commons