Monday, January 25, 2016

The most important and humane legal development in a long while

Marty Lederman

This is as significant, at least in terms of basic human decency and flourishing, as anything this or any other public official has done in recent memory.  It's horrifying and shameful that we'd allowed this barbaric practice to become commonplace -- and with very little public debate or outrage. About time the systemic cruelty is finally being addressed. And Justice Kennedy has signaled that the Court is prepared to restrict the practice at the state level, too.  (See the end of my post on Slate, calling this "by far the most encouraging surprise" of the October 2014 Term.)

Like same-sex marriage, it looks as if this could be a sea-change that happens much more rapidly than any of us could have imagined in our wildest dreams.  The very idea of reform was a political and jurisprudential nonstarter, in every branch of government, until very recently.  And now, this.  Thank goodness.   

DOJ Report

Executive Summary

DOJ "Guiding Principles"

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