Virginia Law Review In Brief

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In Brief, the online companion to the Virginia Law Review, recently published a discussion centered around Professor Stephen F. Smith’s article The Supreme Court and the Politics of Death, published in the April 2008 Issue of the Virginia Law Review:

Professor Darryl K. Brown’s response, The Multifarious Politics of Capital Punishment: A Response to Smith , suggests “that the politics of death are not quite as bleak as Smith believes them to be,” and highlights “some significant developments in the moderation of capital punishment policy achieved through the democratic process” before closing with some thoughts regarding “the significance of the Court’s recent forays into capital punishment regulation.”

In Get in the Game or Get out of the Way: Fixing the Politics of Death, Professor Adam M. Gershowitz agrees with Professor Smith that “the Court has politicized the death penalty and in doing so inadvertently stymied reform efforts,” but takes a less optimistic view of the Court’s latest jurisprudence, instaed arguing, “If the Court desires to eliminate the arbitrariness of the death penalty, it needs to either take a major step forward or get out of the way so that the political actors can take responsibility.”

Finally, in What’s Wrong with Democracy? A Critique of “The Supreme Court and the Politics of Death”, Professor Paul G. Cassell and District Attorney Joshua K. Marquis take issue with the need for judicial reform, arguing that “[c]apital punishment is a proper punishment in the American criminal justice system, whose popular support should not mark it for judicial undermining, but rather judicial support,” and that “Professor Smith should be more trusting in the outcome of democratic processes.”

Virginia Law Review In Brief

VA-L-Rev-InBrief.jpg

In Brief, the online companion to the Virginia Law Review, recently published a discussion centered around Professor Melissa Murray’s article The Networked Family: Reframing the Legal Understanding of Caregiving and Caregivers, published in the April 2008 Issue of the Virginia Law Review:

Professor Susan Frelich Appleton’s response, The Networked—Yet Still Hierarchical—Family, considers “what Murray’s call for recognition of caregiving networks might mean, first, for the traditional gender stereotypes that family law once embraced but now professes to reject and, then, for the issues of race and class that family law all too routinely ignores.”

In Rights and Realities, Professor Laura A. Rosenbury supports Professor Murray’s proposals “to the extent that they force reformers and scholars to confront who benefits and who is harmed by legal conceptions of the family, even ones that have been expanded to reflect functional approaches to the family,” but fears “that Murray’s analysis may be held back by an assumption about the appropriate relationship between rights and reality often embraced by family law scholars including, at times, by Murray herself.”

Finally, in Parents as Hubs, Professor Clare Huntington “wholeheartedly agree[s] with Professor Murray that the law should support families in providing care,” and advances the conversation by engaging “with a central aspect of Professor Murray’s argument: the nature of the recognition she argues that the law should provide for nonparental caregivers.” Professor Huntington goes on consider whether recognition should be “simply cognizance of and greater attention to the care provided by nonparents” or “direct legal protection of the relationship between a nonparental caregiver and a family.”

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