•  
  •  
 
Washington and Lee Law Review Online

Abstract

In Matters of Strata: Race, Gender, and Class Structures in Capital Cases, Professor Phyllis Goldfarb examines the ways in which race, class, and gender affect the American criminal justice system generally, and its death penalty system in particular. This Response focuses on one of Goldfarb’s observations: The relationship between slavery and the death penalty. This relationship helps to explain why, over the past four decades, the thirteen states that comprised the former Confederacy have been responsible for nearly all of this nation’s executions. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly failed to address the death penalty’s roots in slavery, several state court judges have risen to the occasion, calling out the impermissible taint of bias that colors the death penalty. This Response suggests how the death penalty’s connection to slavery should inform death penalty jurisprudence and concludes with a discussion of the future of abolition, given a Supreme Court in flux.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.