14 Pages Posted: 25 May 2018
Date Written: May 18, 2018
This essay, written for the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy Symposium, An Even More Perfect Union: Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, makes the case for a constitutional amendment to abolish the death penalty and lays out possible routes to enactment. Part one of the essay opens by recounting one Congress member’s unsuccessful efforts at launching a death penalty amendment. It then describes the present state of the law in the United States regarding capital punishment, including recent data showing a significant decline in death sentences and executions among the few states still engaging in the practice. Part two provides an overview of the process established by Article V for amending the Constitution, and then evaluates the potential paths for a successful death penalty abolition amendment.
Keywords: constitutional law, eighth amendment, death penalty, state constitutional convention
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