This comment will highlight some of the legal concerns raised by legislative proposals advocating the introduction of corporal punishment into the American juvenile court. The comment will begin by reviewing the historical use of corporal punishment, contrasting the decline of corporal punishment in the criminal justice system with its continued use in the school system. Although the United States Supreme Court has held that school children are not entitled to the protection of the Eighth Amendment when they are paddled, the comment will contend that ordering juvenile offenders to corporal punishment must be subject to review under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments ,of the United States Constitution. Under such scrutiny, paddling in juvenile court violates not only the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment, but also infringes upon a juvenile's right to bodily integrity under the Fourteenth Amendment. Ultimately, the comment will suggest policy considerations that should have accompanied the latest debate over an old subject: corporal punishment.
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child? A Legal Framework for Recent Corporal Punishment Proposals, 25 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.