Is Capital Punishment ‘Cruel and Unusual’?
THE CONSTITUTIONAL MORALITY OF THE UNITED STATES: HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW, Forthcoming
35 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2011 Last revised: 10 Mar 2020
Date Written: September 27, 2011
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’?”, https://ssrn.com/abstract=1824662 and “The Grounds of Human Rights,” https://ssrn.com/abstract=1824667.
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