This course will examine the distinctive law of capital punishment. What special rules and procedures govern the conduct of capital trials, especially the determination of punishment where death is an option? What are the burdens and responsibilities of lawyers in capital cases? In addition, we will pay particular attention to the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. How has the Eighth Amendment been interpreted in capital cases? We will also consider the current practices and status of the death penalty in the United States.
Designated as a course counting toward the Public Interest Certificate.