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April 26, 2007

Should the ALI oppose the death penalty?

Professors Roger Clark and Ellen Podgor have submitted a motion for consideration at the upcoming American Law Institute Meeting, which calls for the Institute to take a position that it is opposed to the death penalty.  This motion and statement of support can be accessed at this link, and here is the statement's first paragraph:

The Discussion draft on sentencing circulated for discussion at the 2006 meeting comments that "The sentencing Articles of the Model Penal Code drafted in the 1950s and early 1960s, have not been influential in the bulk of sentencing-code revisions undertaken since the mid-1970s."  Regrettably, this is not true of the capital punishment provisions in the Code, included against the better judgment of the Reporters and the Advisory Committee.  They have become, in a memorable phrase from the 1980 Commentaries on the Code, "a paradigm of constitutional permissibility," a lifeline for the retention of capital punishment against constitutional attack.  We believe that the time has come to disavow them.  A Model Code of Sentencing for the twenty-first century should specifically exclude the death penalty.

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April 26, 2007 at 07:42 PM | Permalink


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