Emory Law Journal

Volume 62Issue 2

Accrual and Unusual? Calibrating the Statute of Limitations on Section 1983 Method-of-Execution Challenges

Chad Lennon | 62 Emory L.J. 407 (2012)

Death-row prisoners have long challenged the methods by which states intend to execute them. Recently, prisoners have begun to challenge revisions made by states to their execution procedures, arguing the revisions violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. But reviewing courts—almost without exception—bar these challenges on statute of limitations grounds. Courts rule that the prisoner’s claim accrues shortly after conviction and that the statute of limitations expires shortly thereafter, no matter when the challenged revision was actually made. Method-of-execution challenges are routinely dismissed in this fashion without full consideration of their underlying constitutional merits. This result essentially grants immunity to states and prevents meaningful challenge to revised execution procedures.

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Recess is Over: Granting Miranda Rights to Students Interrogated Inside School Walls

Kristi North | 62 Emory L.J. 441 (2012)

When school officials and law enforcement question students about suspicious activities without parents or legal counsel present, students are overmatched. This power imbalance raises questions about whether students’ constitutional rights are being adequately protected. These questions have gone largely unanswered, as the Supreme Court has never addressed the applicability of Miranda warnings in school interrogation settings. However, the 2011 J.D.B. v. North Carolina decision, in which the Supreme Court held a defendant’s age relevant to custody for Miranda purposes, has opened the door for a reevaluation of the dynamics of school interrogations.

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