Capital Punishment Seminar
About this Course
This seminar examines capital punishment as a legal process, using interdisciplinary materials and theory, litigation documents including briefs and recordings of oral arguments, and appellate opinions. The seminar also employs written narratives, movies, and popular cultural images and artifacts to explore this subject matter. Diverse topics in the course may include: analyzing legal arguments for and against the death penalty (whether capital punishment does or does not violate the constitution); the court's ongoing attempts to articulate meaningful standards for deciding who deserves to die; the sociology of death row confinement; the methods of capital punishment (electrocution, lethal injection, etc.); the impact of capital punishment upon various actors (guards, judges, families of the executed, etc.); moral arguments for and against the death penalty; issues of age, race and gender and the death penalty; terrorism and the death penalty; theories of punishment and the death penalty; and the history of capital punishment in America.