Can 'Death Row Phenomenon' Be Confined to Death Row Inmates?
Lewis & Clark Law School
U Iowa Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-11
Death row phenomenon - which refers to the suffering endured by persons who spend years on death row in a state of uncertainty about whether they will be executed - has ceased for now to be a significant source of friction between the abolitionist nations of Western Europe and the United States, given the former's move toward an absolute position against the death penalty, and to extraditing death eligible suspects. But a careful revisit to the doctrine of death row phenomenon suggests that it may not be so easy to confine the doctrine to cases involving the death penalty, as death row phenomenon is as much about the conditions of confinement as it is about the death penalty. Accordingly, I argue that the continuing war on terrorism may increase tension between the United States and Europe, because any Al Qaeda terrorists captured in Europe, if not to be executed in the United States, would almost certainly be detained in maximum security conditions that could give rise to a variant of death row phenomenon.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: death row phenomenon, terrorism, death penalty litigation, ethics
JEL Classification: K34, K49, H56, H89
Date posted: February 25, 2005