Maintaining the Integrity of Death: An Argument for Restricting a Defendant's Right to Volunteer for Execution at Certain Stages in Capital Proceedings
32 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2003
This paper examines execution volunteering at the many different stages of capital proceedings. The arguments for and against such restrictions can be reduced to the interest of the state in appropriate and consistent application of the death sentence on one side, and the autonomy interests of the defendant on the other. Balancing these interests suggests that while capital defendants should – in some cases and under some circumstances – have a right to accept their death sentence and waive proceedings, the current trend of prohibiting waiver at the appellate but not the trial stage is backwards. The paper suggest that waiver should therefore be strictly prohibited at the trial stages of pleading and sentencing.
Keywords: death penalty, execution, waiver, volunteering, Sixth Amendment
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