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22 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 1 (2017)

handle is hein.journals/bjcl22 and id is 1 raw text is: 

ISSUE 22:1                                                  SPRING 201


               Awesome Punishments


                  Richard Thaddaeus Johnson*


In 1972, Justice Brennan noted that [d]eath is truly an awesome
punishment. i But this was no compliment; rather, it was an indictment.
And although it took nearly 200 years for the Supreme Court to place any
serious constraint on imposing this awesome punishment, the Court has
since carved out many restrictions. In this process, an animating rationale
has been that the worst punishment available should be doled out in only
exceptional circumstances and only after overcoming exceptional
procedural hurdles. Recently, the Court has used this-seemingly
narrow principle and layered it onto juvenile-sentencing schemes. To
start, the Court barred juvenile capital punishment entirely, rendering
life without parole the de facto highest juvenile punishment available.
The Court then began carving out the same restrictions on juvenile-life-
without-parole-sentencing schemes as it did     with  adult capital
punishment-sentencing schemes. This move, however, is quite recent. And
as a result, the Court is not finished harmonizing the two lines of
jurisprudence. But taking the Court at its word that a juvenile-life-
without-parole sentence is equally awesome as an adult-capital
punishment sentence this Comment frames what additional restrictions
we should expect.

I.  Introduction  ....................................................................................  2
II. Adult-Death Penalty Jurisprudence: From Furman to Kennedy ........ 2
III. JLWOP Jurisprudence: From Roper to Miller .............................. 6
      A. The JLWOP Analogue: An incomplete Portrait ................. 8
      B.  A Completed  Portrait ..........................................................  8
      C.  Looking to the Future .......................................................  11
IV . C onclusion  .................................................................................  12



DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15779/Z38DB7VP7B
Copywright © 2017 Regents of University of California
* J.D. Candidate 2017, University of California, Berkeley.
1 Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, 290 (1972) (Brennan, J., concurring).


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