The eJournal is sponsored by the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy (DLP) Program of the Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS). The DLP Program sponsors a range of law school academic programs and co-curricular activities, including the first joint degree program in law and disability studies. The Program is part of the CHPLDS which is the first such university-wide network of academic programs, centers, student organizations, and affiliated faculty whose research, teaching, and advocacy promotes the rights of people with disabilities locally, nationally, and globally.

Sponsored by Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program

"Does Atkins Make A Difference in Non-Capital Cases? Should It?" Free Download
William & Mary Bill of Rights, Vol. 23, 2014
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-293

PAUL MARCUS, William & Mary Law School

The holding in Atkins v. Virginia is clear. The execution of mentally retarded defendants, those people with intellectual disabilities, is unconstitutional. One other feature of the Atkins decision is also certain; the reason the 8th Amendment is violated by the use of the death penalty with such convicted defendants. That is because defendants with intellectual disabilities are to be viewed as less culpable than other defendants.

In this article, I look at the limited impact the Atkins rationale and its holding have had in non-capital cases. I examine three areas: confessions (both voluntariness determinations, and understanding of Miranda warnings), the ability of those with intellectual disabilities to assist their lawyers in making plea decisions or in creating a defense to criminal prosecutions, and sentencing. These three areas are of genuine significance because they focus on an accused’s understanding of the process and also the degree of culpability for the offense.

"Special Treatment Stigma after the ADA Amendments Act" Free Download
University of Toledo Legal Studies Research Paper

NICOLE B. PORTER, University of Toledo College of Law

This article explores a unique source of stigma suffered by individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Instead of focusing on those with the most stigmatizing disabilities, I focus on those individuals who have disabilities that are not perceived as very severe, yet they still suffer stigma. These individuals are stigmatized because of the special treatment they receive (or are perceived as receiving) through workplace accommodations provided pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In prior work, I have called this phenomenon “special treatment stigma,? the harm that arises from receiving special treatment in the workplace, especially when co-workers believe that the special treatment is unwarranted or unfair. In this article, I explore the scope and magnitude of the harm experienced by individuals with disabilities because of special treatment stigma. This stigma not only manifests itself in resentment and other negative treatment of individuals with disabilities by their co-workers; it also can cause employers to avoid accommodations that place any burdens on other employees, which often limits the ability to accommodate the employee with the disability. After describing the concept of special treatment stigma, this article turns to exploring whether the ADA Amendments Act will exacerbate or improve the problem of special treatment stigma. Because the ADA Amendments Act has made it much easier to prove that an individual has a disability and therefore might be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, it is likely that there will be many more individuals requesting and receiving workplace accommodations. Thus, these increased numbers could exacerbate the problem of special treatment stigma, especially if some of these individuals have what are perceived as relatively minor impairments. On the other hand, as more individuals are considered disabled under the ADA, we could possibly see a growing acceptance of individuals with disabilities; thus, requesting and receiving accommodations might become the “new normal.?

"A Tale of Two (and Possibly Three) Atkins: Intellectual Disability and Capital Punishment Twelve Years after The Supreme Court's Creation of a Categorical Bar" Free Download
William & Mary Bill of Rights, Vol. 23, 2014
William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 9-294

JOHN H. BLUME, Cornell Law School
SHERI LYNN JOHNSON, Cornell Law School
PAUL MARCUS, William & Mary Law School
EMILY C. PAAVOLA, Cornell Law School

The article, with three co-authors, examines empirically the capital cases decided by the lower courts since the United States Supreme Court created the categorical ban against the execution of persons with intellectual disability twelve years ago in the Atkins decision.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Syracuse University Disability Law & Policy (DLP) Program.

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts which address issues of domestic, comparative, and international disability law and policy and disability studies, including  issues related to mental health and mental disability law and policy. The eJournal addresses legal issues, legislation, policy and a critical examination of disability as part of diversity in the US and in other societies throughout the world.


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