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Authors

Simone Unwalla

Abstract

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.

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