Abstract

The American death penalty must be abolished in order to establish a more just system of punishment. This thesis examines the arguments of eight political theorists and their connections with five essential Supreme Court cases on capital punishment in order to determine the Court's theoretical view of the American death penalty. This theoretical view is that justices who affirm the constitutionality of capital punishment use philosophical theories, while justices who critique capital punishment rely upon context-dependent analyses. If the Court ever rules that capital punishment is unconstitutional in all circumstances, these latter theories will be dispositive.

Advisor

Weaver, Mark

Department

Political Science

Disciplines

Constitutional Law | Political Theory

Publication Date

2016

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2016 Rachel S. Sullivan