Is Capital Punishment ‘Cruel and Unusual’?
Michael J. Perry
Emory University School of Law; University of San Diego - School of Law and Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
September 27, 2011
THE CONSTITUTIONAL MORALITY OF THE UNITED STATES: HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW, Forthcoming
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 11-161
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 11-075
The right of every human being – every human being without exception – not to be subjected to any punishment that is “cruel, inhuman or degrading” is an international human right. A version of that right is entrenched in the constitutional law of the United States: the right of every human being – again, without exception – not to be subjected to any punishment that is “cruel and unusual”. In this paper, I inquire both whether capital punishment is “cruel, inhuman or degrading” and, next, whether capital punishment is “cruel and unusual”.
Two related papers have been posted to SSRN:
“What Is a ‘Human Right’?”, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1824662; and “The Grounds of Human Rights,” http://ssrn.com/abstract=1824667.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 29, 2011
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