Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors the Same as Having None at All?: A Comment on the Hidalgo Cert. Petition

UC Davis Law Review Online, vol. 51, 2017

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-15

17 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2019

See all articles by Chad Flanders

Chad Flanders

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

While the Court does not dispute that at first blush the defendant's argument appears logical, it is disturbed by the prospect of how one determines the point at which the number of aggravating circumstances causes the death penalty statute to be generally unconstitutional. Is the Court to engage in some mathematical calculation as to who might be covered by the statute and who is not; and if so, what would be reasonable and logical factors to include in the formula? Can the Court arbitrarily declare that fifty aggravating circumstances is too many but forty-nine is permissible? Even assuming one could create a tool that would measure the percentage of defendants eligible for capital punishment, where is the dividing line of constitutionality and who makes that decision?

Suggested Citation

Flanders, Chad, Is Having Too Many Aggravating Factors the Same as Having None at All?: A Comment on the Hidalgo Cert. Petition (2017). UC Davis Law Review Online, vol. 51, 2017; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-15 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3467099

Chad Flanders (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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