PLACE THE DEATH PENALTY ON A TRIPOD, OR MAKE IT STAND ON ITS OWN TWO FEET?

Author: 

Margo A. Rocklin

This paper considers differences in evidentiary standards and constitutional limitations during the guilt, eligibility and penalty selection determinations of a capital trial. Capital trials and the subsequent sentencing hearings of guilty defendants require careful procedural safeguards to ensure that juries are able to make distinct guilt, eligibility and penalty determinations, as contemplated by the governing statutes. As a framework for evaluating these issues, this article will consider the two primary federal death penalty statutes, 21 U.S.C. § 848 and 18 U.S.C. § 3593, as well as the limited variety of capital schemes present in state death penalty statutes. View More