"Death penalty scholar joins Penn State Law as visiting professor," is from Penn State News. It's written by Noelle Mateer.
What happens when the federal government seeks the death penalty for crimes committed in a non-death penalty state? Professor Michael Mannheimer plans to find out.
He joined the Penn State Law faculty as a visitor from northern Kentucky this fall and focuses his teaching and research on the death penalty.
For instance, Mannheimer believes the federal government will seek the death penalty for the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect. However, Massachusetts abolished its death penalty nearly 30 years ago.
The crux of the issue is Mannheimer’s true interest: states’ rights. Mannheimer explained that the authors of the Bill of Rights were Anti-Federalists — very pro-states’ rights. “It’s fascinating to me because we don’t think of it that way anymore,” he said. “My research delves into how we can interpret the Bill of Rights with that states’ rights spin.”
To start off, Mannheimer will study a 1937 federal death penalty case, U.S. vs. Chebatoris, in which the federal government imposed a death sentence on a bank robber in Michigan, a death penalty-free state. Despite the efforts of then-Gov. Frank Murphy, Chebatoris was hanged on July 8, 1938, the first person executed in Michigan in 108 years.