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Sunday, June 05, 2011

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Well, I leave Prawfs as I entered:  late.  I just wanted to give a quick thanks for the opportunity to post, rant, and stir the pot a little.

I also wanted to leave off with a mention of my latest project, which I just presented at Law and Society on Thursday, entitled "Cruel and Unusual [Federal] Punishments."  In a nutshell, I argue that the jurisprudence on the Eighth Amendment disproportionality of carceral sentences is extraordinarily deferential to legislative judgments in large part because of considerations of federalism; and that, because those considerations do not militate toward deference when applied to federal sentencing, a more robust standard is called for in that context.  Ultimately, my argument is that, in judging when a federal sentence is "cruel and unusual" we ought to use what the States do as the appropriate benchmark:  if a federal sentence exceeds what the offender could receive under State law, the sentence is, by definition, "cruel and unusual."  This is a follow-up to my 2006 piece on the federal death penalty, which I mentioned in my first post here.

I wanted to get the paper up on SSRN so I could link to it here but alas, as Big Daddy Kane famously, and offensively, opined, pimpin' ain't easy.  But look for it on SSRN in the next couple of weeks.

As a good friend of mine remarked upon our high school graduation:  Let's all get together and do this again real soon.

Posted by Michael J.Z. Mannheimer on June 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM | Permalink


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