Why the “Gay Panic Defense” is Discriminatory

Kelsey Braford (PO ’22) Many people are unaware of the existence of a discriminatory legal strategy dubbed the “gay panic defense.” Uncommon and widely criticized, it is a tactic that asks “a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is to blame for a defendant’s violent reaction,” according to the LGBT…

Does the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation?

Conducted by Rafael Santa Maria (PO ’20) It may come as a surprise to advocates and allies of the LGBTQ+ community that this question has not been resolved yet. Despite the considerable progress made in the continuing battle for equality over the last few decades, it seems hard to believe that sexual orientation remains unrecognized…

Have You Any Decency? Bucklew v. Precythe and the Future of the Eighth Amendment

By Alex Simard (PO’22) Content Warning: This article, as it centers on the death penalty and a man condemned to it, contains depictions of gun violence, murder, and domestic and sexual violence, including rape. It also contains graphic depictions of petitioner’s medical condition and brief depictions of 17th- and 18th-century modes of punishment, including torture.…

Understanding Julian Assange’s Legal Battles Ahead

By Kimberly Tuttle (CMC’19) Many debates surrounding the legality of Julian Assange’s controversial organization, WikiLeaks, resurfaced this week in light of Assange’s recent release from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived under diplomatic protection since 2012. In particular, news regarding the U.S. government’s indictment of Assange have concerned the American public. The…

Trump’s Ban on Trans Military Members Formally Implemented

By Rafael Santa Maria (PO ’20) Last Friday, the Department of Defense began implementing a new policy that effectively prevents transgender individuals from joining the military. Although the policy was announced in a Defense Department memorandum last month, enforcement began on April 12. This development follows efforts to curtail transgender military service by the Trump…

Exposure of Cruel and Unusual Punishment in Alabama Seeks to Improve Prison Conditions

By Musa Kamara (PO’22) The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution conveys three major provisions, one of which is perhaps one of the most recognizable constitutional tenets in popular culture. The Amendment guarantees protection from excessive bail, protection from fines, and – most notably– protection from cruel and unusual punishment. The idea of cruel and…