Penn Journal of Philosophy: Volume 14, Issue 2

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  • Publication
    Death is Different. Death Sentencing is Not.
    (2019-05-15) Unwalla, Simone
    This paper investigates the conditional demands of Death-Is-Different jurisprudence in the United States criminal justice system and argues that the dissonance between the need for heightened protections in capital sentencing and the reality of our capital-sentencing institutions ultimately renders the death penalty, as it currently exists in our society, impermissible. This claim is substantiated in three parts: first, through an analysis of foundational death penalty decisions from the Supreme Course, which condemn the arbitrary nature of capital juries while simultaneously justifying their constitutional necessity as sentencing agents; second, through an examination of the development of Death-Is-Different jurisprudence and its conceptual implications for the application of the death penalty; and finally, through an identification of the faults that render capital juries unable to meet the protective standard that America's Death-Is-Different principle requires.
  • Publication
    Cross-National Differences in Gain-Domain Risk Preferences among Older Populations: Judgment and Decision-Making Behaviors in Rapidly Aging Countries
    (2019-05-15) Joo, Samuel; Baek, Suyoung
    This research explores the systematic, cross-national differences in choice-inferred risk preferences between American and South Korean ("Korean") elders. A total of four different same groups--American elders, Korean elders, American young adults, and Korean young adults--were surveyed. All four groups were asked to partake in a two-part questionnaire: one pertaining to their background information and the other consisting of a set of gain-domain choice questions based on hypothetical lottery situations. The result of the study highlights three statistically significant (a=0.05) findings among the groups surveyed: (1) The Korean elderly group tends to be more risk-averse than the American elderly group, (2) the American elderly group tends to be more risk-seeking than the American young adult group, (3) and the Korean elderly group tends to be more risk-averse than the Korean young adult group.
  • Publication
    A Letter from the Editors
    (2019-05-15) Wilson, Chloe; Law, Patrick
  • Publication
  • Publication
    Furman v. Georgia and the Supreme Court's Failure to Apply It
    (2019-05-15) Maslowsky, Callie
    In the case of Furman v. Georgia (1972), the Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty on the grounds that its use constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. No majority opinion was written, but the plurality opinions all agreed that the amount of discretion in death penalty sentencing left too much room for the death penalty to be given arbitrarily. When the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the Court approved schemes that limited the discretion of sentencing bodies by providing sentencing guidelines, automatically appealing all death penalty cases for review, or taking other steps toe ensure there was some methodology determining which death penalty-eligible criminals actually receive it. In this paper, I will make the argument that the Court failed to effectively amend the shortcomings of the Furman decision. While the Court addressed discretion to give the death penalty by mandating sentencing guidelines be used and calling for review of all death penalty cases, that is only half of the issue. Sentencing parties also exercise discretion when deciding to give life imprisonment over the death penalty, a discretion that is equally open to arbitrariness. Because arbitrariness and abuse of discretion were the reason the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in Furman, the best solution to the issue is the mandatory death penalty, which allows little to no room for arbitrariness in influencing sentencing.