Tuesday, January 6, 2015

KLJ - Getting Jurors to Awesome

Article by University of Kentucky Law Assistant Professor and DPA Commission Member Courtney Lollar.

From the Conclusion: 
The Court’s death penalty jurisprudence fails to note one of the most basic reasons why jurors can relatively easily assign responsibility elsewhere: those who authorize the death penalty are inherently removed from the ultimate result. They are never the one to personally carry out, or even observe, the execution they authorize.Even in the best of scenarios, then, juries are inevitably distant from the repercussions of the most significant ramifications of their decision. The graphic reality of the pain inflicted through the execution process is never laid out before the jurors who are tasked with authorizing the death of another.

Given this reality, if jurors are going to be tasked with the “awesome responsibility” of deciding another person’s fate, they need to have an intimate understanding of the full panoply of realities surrounding that decision. The level of discomfort jurors feel in making this decision, even without awareness of the granular details of actually putting someone to death, ultimately provides another reason to reconsider permitting such a punishment.
Read the entire article on the Kentucky Law Journal page