October 5, 2016
Game planning next week's final(?) capital punishment discussions (and requests for expressions of any continued DP interest)
As I surmise you could tell from the last few classes, I am not at all troubled that our discussions of how Teddy K.'s capital case might play out in states like Florida and Texas has gone on longer than I had initially planned. I am hopeful you were able to get a real feel from this week's two classes concerning the various important structural and practical realities of modern death penalty decision-making that have resulted from the Supreme Court's modern Eighth Amendment "guided discretion" jurisprudence.
With the Teddy K. hypo and some of its lessons now covered, I want to update/clarify our plans and my expectations for next week's classes and beyond:
Monday, Oct 10: Guest presentation/discussion with Kevin Stanek, Assistant Chief Counsel for Ohio Governor John Kasich (and OSU Moritz College of Law Class of 2013). There is no need to prepare anything formal this class, but this Dispatch article and this part of a Wikipedia entry provides a quick overview of the Ohio execution administration issues that ACC Stanek will likely be discussing. (And for a lighter (and not-so-tasteful) look at these issues, check out this satire video from The Onion, "Ohio Replaces Lethal Injection With Humane New Head-Ripping-Off Machine.")
Tuesday, Oct 11: We will finally get to discussing McClesky v. Kemp (paying extra special attention to the final few paragraphs of the majority opinion and then debating a possible Ohio Racial and Gender Justice Act)
Wednesday, Oct 12: Wrap up DP discussions and start transition to LWOP/non-capital sentencing challenges by identifying enduring lessons ....
UNLESS YOU REPORT IN THE COMMENTS OR ELSEWHERE ABOUT ADDITIONAL CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ISSUES YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE US COVER IN CLASS. If nobody raises any addition death-penalty issues in the comments or in other ways with me, I will assume that everyone has already had more than their fill of death penalty discussions and thus will feel all that much more confident moving on to discussions of non-capital sentencing realities ASAP.
For those students hoping and eager for us to move on beyond our death penalty discussions, please feel free to get started on our first set of prison readings, in the form of:
- All of Chapter 7, paying particular attention to pp. 549-558, 570-581 and 595-623 (especially Graham v. Florida)
- A bit of Chapter 5, pp. 401-415 (especially Miller v. Alabama)
UPDATE: ACC Stanek suggested that everyone read this DC Circuit case, Cook v. FDA, to get a flavor of some of the challenges states face when trying to acquire the drugs needed to conduct a lethal injection.
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