The Pope and the Capital Juror

128 Yale L.J. Forum 599

11 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2018 Last revised: 5 Dec 2018

See all articles by Aliza Cover

Aliza Cover

University of Idaho College of Law

Date Written: December 3, 2018


In a significant change to Catholic Church doctrine, Pope Francis recently declared that capital punishment is impermissible under all circumstances. Counterintuitively, the Pope’s pronouncement might make capital punishment less popular but more prevalent in the United States. This Essay anticipates this possible dynamic and, in so doing, explores how “death qualification” of capital juries can insulate the administration of the death penalty when community morality evolves away from capital punishment.

Keywords: death penalty, capital punishment, Eighth Amendment, law and religion, criminal law, sentencing, juries, constitutional law, fair cross-section

Suggested Citation

Cover, Aliza, The Pope and the Capital Juror (December 3, 2018). 128 Yale L.J. Forum 599. Available at SSRN:

Aliza Cover (Contact Author)

University of Idaho College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 442321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
United States

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