The U.S. Death Penalty and the Transition of Constitutional Authority
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This paper seeks to explore the philosophical influences that shaped American political thought surrounding the death penalty. Its purpose is to trace the dynamics of U.S. penological evolution to better understand the currently cited justifications and application methods for punishing capital offenders and discuss its constitutionality. Further analysis will demonstrate how the development of the Supreme Court’s capital punishment jurisprudence has resulted in a transitioning effect of its judicial authority over the death penalty toward the will of state legislatures. What implications this outcome may signal for the protection of other social policies will also be explored, highlighting abortion as a case study.