Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2239329
 
 

Footnotes (300)



 


 



From Weems to Graham: The Curious Evolution of Evolving Standards of Decency


Zachary Baron Shemtob


Independent

March 25, 2013

Criminal Justice Bulletin, 49, 3 (2013)

Abstract:     
Since the 1958 case of Trop v. Dulles, the Supreme Court has held that grossly disproportionate punishments are cruel and unusual if they violate “the evolving standards of decency of a maturing society.” Traditionally, this was interpreted as prohibiting capital sentences for certain types of crimes and classes of offenders. In Graham v. Florida, the Court applied evolving standards to incarceration, banning the sentencing of juveniles who committed non-homicide crimes to life without parole.

This Article breaks the Court’s understanding of evolving standards of decency into distinct periods. In each period the justices encountered a host of novel problems that they attempted, and often failed, to resolve. I discuss some additional complications in the wake of Graham, and conclude that this case’s inconsistent holding demands a more objective measure for what constitutes evolving standards of decency.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: Penology; Proportionality; Supreme Court

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: March 26, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Shemtob, Zachary Baron, From Weems to Graham: The Curious Evolution of Evolving Standards of Decency (March 25, 2013). Criminal Justice Bulletin, 49, 3 (2013) . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2239329

Contact Information

Zachary Baron Shemtob (Contact Author)
Independent ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 293
Downloads: 46
Footnotes:  300

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.250 seconds