SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Tobolowsky, P. M. (September 2004). Capital Punishment and the Mentally Retarded Offender. The Prison Journal. 84(3). 340-360.

This article examines the holdings of two landmark decisions (Penry v. Lynaugh and Atkins v. Virginia) dealing with mentally retarded capital offenders and the roles that they played in the evolution of the United States Supreme Court’s capital punishment jurisprudence.

  1. Explain the evolution of capital punishment for mentally retarded offenders. Which cases have had the most influence?
  2. Where the laws regarding capital punishment and mentally retarded offenders uniform across the United States during the time of the two landmark cases?

Learning Objective(s): Explain the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment


Downing, J. D. H.  (April 1999). ‘Hate Speech’ and ‘First Amendment Absolutism’ discourses in the U.S. Discourse and Society 10(2). 175-189.

This author of this article argues that the First Amendment has suffered from an ideological refusal to acknowledge its dangerous implications for the growth of hate speech. The author examines critical legal theory and critical race theory, and concludes by considering two different angles on the subject.

  1. What is the premise of critical legal theory and critical race theory?
  2. What are the author’s two concluding perspectives?

Learning Objective(s): Define symbolic speech and provide examples of constitutionally protected symbolic speech