The Pope and the Capital Juror
128 Yale L.J. Forum 599
11 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2018 Last revised: 5 Dec 2018
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
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