This book chapter examines the role that concerns about finality have played in both capital cases and juvenile life-without-parole sentencing cases. It will describe how finality has shaped the Supreme Court’s death penalty cases, as well as the role it has played in recent juvenile life-without-parole cases. It will then offer some tentative thoughts on whether the non-capital finality concerns – specifically, the perceived need for post-sentencing assessments – should be extended to capital defendants and how post-sentencing assessments might inform the ongoing debate over the death penalty abolition in the United States.
Hessick, Carissa Byrne, Finality and the Capital/Non-Capital Punishment Divide (November 29, 2017). Final Judgments: The Death Penalty in American Law and Culture (A. Sarat ed.), 2017; ISBN-10: 1107155487; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3079883