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Eligible For Execution

Author: Thomas G. Walker
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1483304531
Size: 40.52 MB
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This riveting and enlightening narrative unfolds on the night of August 16, 1996, with the brutal and senseless murder of Eric Nesbitt, a young man stationed at Langley Air Force Base, at the hands of 18-year-old Daryl Atkins. Over the course of more than a decade, Atkins’s case has bounced between the lowest and the highest levels of the judicial system. Found guilty and then sentenced to death in 1998 for Nesbitt’s murder, the Atkins case was then taken up in 2002 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue before the justices: given Daryl Atkins’s mental retardation, would his execution constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment? A 6–3 vote said yes. Daryl Atkins’s situation was far from being resolved though. Prosecutors claimed that Atkins failed to meet the statutory definition of mental retardation and reinstituted procedures to carry out his death sentence. Back in circuit court, the jury returned its verdict: Daryl Atkins was not retarded. Atkins’s attorneys promptly filed a notice of appeal, and the case continues today. Drawing on interviews with key participants; direct observation of the hearings; and close examination of court documents, transcripts, and press accounts, Thomas G. Walker provides readers with a rare view of the entire judicial process. Never losing sight of the stakes in a death penalty case, he explains each step in Atkins’s legal journey from the interactions of local law enforcement, to the decision-making process of the state prosecutor, to the Supreme Court’s ruling, and beyond. Walker sheds light on how legal institutions and procedures work in real life—and how they are all interrelated—to help students better understand constitutional issues, the courts, and the criminal justice system. Throughout, Walker also addresses how disability, race, and other key demographic and social issues affect the case and society’s views on the death penalty.

The Supreme Court Compendium

Author: Lee Epstein
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 148337663X
Size: 50.68 MB
Format: PDF
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The Supreme Court Compendium provides historical and statistical information on the Supreme Court: its institutional development; caseload; decision trends; the background, nomination, and voting behavior of its justices; its relationship with public, governmental, and other judicial bodies; and its impact. With over 180 tables and figures, this new edition is intended to capture the full retrospective picture through the 2013-2014 term of the Roberts Court and the momentous decisions handed down within the last four years, including United States v. Windsor, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, and Shelby County v. Holder.

The Death Of The American Trial Large Print 16pt

Author: Robert P. Burns
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459605535
Size: 72.23 MB
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The American trial looms large in our collective imagination - witness the enormous popularity of Law Order - but it is, in reality, almost extinct. In 2002, less than 2 percent of federal civil cases culminated in a trial, down from 12 percent forty years earlier. And the number of criminal trials also dropped dramatically, from 9 percent of cases in 1976 to only 3 percent in 2002. In The Death of the American Trial, distinguished legal scholar Robert P. Burns makes an impassioned case for reversing this rapid decline before we lose one of our public culture's greatest achievements. Burns begins by cutting through all-too-common misinformation about contemporary trials, reminding readers of its essential features and functions. These characteristics, he shows, resulted from a centuries-long process that brought trials to maturity only in the early twentieth century. As a practice that is adapted for modern times yet rooted in ancient wisdom, the trial is uniquely suited to balance the tensions - between idealism and reality, experts and citizens, contextual judgment and reliance on rules - that define American culture. Arguing that many observers make a grave mistake by taking a positive or even complacent view of the trial's demise, Burns concludes by laying out the catastrophic consequences of losing an institution that so perfectly embodies democratic governance. As one federal judge put it, the jury is the ''canary in the mineshaft; if it goes, if our people lose their inherited right to do justice in court, other democratic institutions will lose breath too.'' The Death of the American Trial arrives not a second too soon to spark a rescue operation before trials are relegated to the purely fictional realm of televised drama.

Judicial Process In America

Author: Robert A. Carp
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 1483378276
Size: 27.95 MB
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Known for shedding light on the link among the courts, public policy, and the political environment, Judicial Process in America provides a comprehensive overview of the American judiciary. In this Tenth Edition, authors Robert A. Carp, Ronald Stidham, Kenneth L. Manning, and Lisa M. Holmes examine the recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and health care subsidies, the effect of three women justices on the Court’s patterns of decision, and the policy-making role of state tribunals. Original data on the decision-making behavior of the Obama trial judges—which are unavailable anywhere else—ensure this text’s position as a standard bearer in the field.

Citizens Courts And Confirmations

Author: James L. Gibson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400830602
Size: 53.52 MB
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In recent years the American public has witnessed several hard-fought battles over nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. In these heated confirmation fights, candidates' legal and political philosophies have been subject to intense scrutiny and debate. Citizens, Courts, and Confirmations examines one such fight--over the nomination of Samuel Alito--to discover how and why people formed opinions about the nominee, and to determine how the confirmation process shaped perceptions of the Supreme Court's legitimacy. Drawing on a nationally representative survey, James Gibson and Gregory Caldeira use the Alito confirmation fight as a window into public attitudes about the nation's highest court. They find that Americans know far more about the Supreme Court than many realize, that the Court enjoys a great deal of legitimacy among the American people, that attitudes toward the Court as an institution generally do not suffer from partisan or ideological polarization, and that public knowledge enhances the legitimacy accorded the Court. Yet the authors demonstrate that partisan and ideological infighting that treats the Court as just another political institution undermines the considerable public support the institution currently enjoys, and that politicized confirmation battles pose a grave threat to the basic legitimacy of the Supreme Court.

Without Fear Or Favor

Author: G. Alan Tarr
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804783500
Size: 21.28 MB
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The impartial administration of justice and the accountability of government officials are two of the most strongly held American values. Yet these values are often in direct conflict with one another. At the national level, the U.S. Constitution resolves this tension in favor of judicial independence, insulating judges from the undue influence of other political institutions, interest groups, and the general public. But at the state level, debate has continued as to the proper balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability. In this volume, constitutional scholar G. Alan Tarr focuses squarely on that debate. In part, the analysis is historical: how have the reigning conceptions of judicial independence and accountability emerged, and when and how did conflict over them develop? In part, the analysis is theoretical: what is the proper understanding of judicial independence and accountability? Tarr concludes the book by identifying the challenges to state-level judicial independence and accountability that have emerged in recent decades, assessing the solutions offered by the competing sides, and offering proposals for how to strike the appropriate balance between independence and accountability.

Judicial Politics In The United States

Author: Mark C. Miller
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429973233
Size: 69.72 MB
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Judicial Politics in the United States examines the role of courts as policymaking institutions and their interactions with the other branches of government and other political actors in the U.S. political system. Not only does this book cover the nuts and bolts of the functions, structures and processes of our courts and legal system, it goes beyond other judicial process books by exploring how the courts interact with executives, legislatures, and state and federal bureaucracies. It also includes a chapter devoted to the courts' interactions with interest groups, the media, and general public opinion and a chapter that looks at how American courts and judges interact with other judiciaries around the world. Judicial Politics in the United States balances coverage of judicial processes with discussions of the courts' interactions with our larger political universe, making it an essential text for students of judicial politics.

Primary Politics

Author: Elaine C. Kamarck
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815703808
Size: 28.26 MB
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The 2008 presidential primaries produced more drama than many general election campaigns. John McCain overcame the near-implosion of his campaign to capture the Republican nomination by March, despite a strong challenge from quotable pastor-turned-governor Mike Huckabee. Hillary Clinton entered the Democratic race as the heavy favorite, only to fall to a first-term senator from Illinois in a battle that lasted into July. Democratic delegations from Florida and Michigan were unseated and reseated; superdelegates took to the airwaves; and millions of Americans heard of the "robot rule" for the first time. In Primary Politics, political insider Elaine Kamarck explains how the presidential nomination process became the often baffling system we have today. Her focus is the largely untold story of how presidential candidates since the early 1970s have sought to alter the rules in their favor and how their failures and successes have led to even more change. She describes how candidates have sought to manipulate the sequencing of primaries to their advantage and how Iowa and New Hampshire came to dominate the system. She analyzes the rules that are used to translate votes into delegates, paying special attention to the Democrats' twenty-year fight over proportional representation. Kamarck illustrates how candidates have used the resulting delegate counts to create momentum, and she discusses the significance of the modern nominating convention. Drawing on meticulous research, interviews with key figures in both parties, and years of experience, this book explores one of the most important questions in American politics—how we narrow the list of presidential candidates every four years.

Courts

Author: Cassia Spohn
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412997186
Size: 56.35 MB
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Courts: A Text/Reader provides the best of both worlds— authored text sections with carefully selected accompanying readings that illustrate the questions and controversies legal scholars and court researchers are investigating in the 21st century. The articles, from leading journals in criminology and criminal justice, reflect both classic studies of the criminal court system and state-of-the-art research, and often have a policy perspective that makes them more applied, less theoretical, and more interesting to both undergraduate and graduate students.