The Article discusses the problem of judging death penalty cases, comparing Justice Blackmun's death penalty jurisprudence to the struggle of a character in Kafka's story. It focuses on three critical moments in the decisional process--hesitation, decision, and escape--and assesses Justice Blackmun's performance at each step. It concludes that although Justice Blackmun's views remained consistent throughout his judicial career, his death penalty legacy is equivocal, and in some important respects, unsatisfying.
Martha J. Dragich, Justice Blackmun, Franz Kafka, and Capital Punishment, 63 Mo. L. Rev. 853 (1998)