“The 8th Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause and Proportionality”
- Read and analyze the article “Furman’s Resurrection: Proportionality Review and the Supreme Court’s Second Chance to Fulfill Furman’s Promise” located at http://cardozolawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/SARMA_2009_238.pdf. Support or criticize the author’s position that the use of a meaningful proportionality review of a death penalty case can reduce the risk of an arbitrary death sentence. Justify your position and respond to no less than one of your peers.
“Hate Crimes and Free Speech”
- According to the current state of law, freedom of speech does not protect the following: Speech that contains “fighting words” (insulting or abusive language that is likely to cause “an immediate violent response”); But on the other hand, Hate Speech in the United States is not regulated, in contrast to that of a number of other countries. The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that hate speech is legally protected free speech under the First Amendment. Then back again, we have hate crime laws. A hate crime law is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence. Hate crime laws are distinct from laws against hate speech: hate crime laws enhance the penalties associated with conduct which is already criminal under other laws, while hate speech laws criminalize a category of speech.
- So what do you think – should we have an actual hate speech law, or do sentencing enhancements fulfill that need?
For a point/counterpoint, read the two articles below.
Why America needs a hate speech law – The Washington Post
No, the U.S. does not need European-style hate speech laws
Justify your position and respond to no less than one of your peers.
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