Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, 1st Edition

  • Michael E. Parrish
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1604266627
  • ISBN-13: 9781604266627
  • DDC: 364.660973
  • Grade Level Range: 9th Grade - College Senior
  • 447 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2009 | Published/Released January 2010
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2009

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, the second installment in CQ Press's “The Supreme Court's Power in American Government” series, explores how Supreme Court rulings over its history have shaped and reshaped the rules under which Americans have been tried, convicted, sentenced and put to death for capital offenses. Through judicial decisions and other primary documents, this reference explores the impact of these rulings upon the behavior of legislators, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and defendants. Considerable emphasis is placed upon the twentieth century, especially the period since the 1972 Furman v. Georgia case. Since Furman, few areas of constitutional doctrine have undergone more abrupt changes than Court-mandated standards for administering capital punishment.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Summary Contents.
Before Moore v. Dempsey Judging Death, 1789–1923.
Justice Nathan Clifford Examines the Meaning of the Eighth Amendment’s Prohibition on Cruel and Unusual Punishment in Wilkerson v. Utah, March 17, 1879.
An Account of the Execution of Wallace Wilkerson, May 23, 1879.
The Supreme Court Reverses the Philippine Court, Ruling That Penalties Imposed Violate Eighth Amendment, May 2, 1910.
Ratification of the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, July 9, 1868.
Justice Samuel Miller on the Application of the Fourteenth Amendment in the Slaughterhouse Cases, April 14, 1873.
The Court Orders James J. Medley Freed after Ruling Colorado Statute Unconstitutional in In Re Medley, March 3, 1890.
The Court Rules That Grand Juries Are Not a Constitutional Right in Capital Cases, March 3, 1884.
The Supreme Court Upholds the Constitutionality of Electrocution, May 23, 1890.
“Far Worse Than Hanging”: The Execution of William Kemmler, August 6, 1890.
A Response to the Botched Execution of William Kemmler, September 5, 1890.
Justice William Moody Explores the Applicability of Constitutional Protections to the States in Twining v. New Jersey, November 9, 1908.
The Kansas City Star Investigates the Leo Frank Trial, January 17, 1915.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Sharply Criticizes the Court’s Ruling and the Due Process Violations during the Trial of Leo Frank, April 19, 1915.
Georgia Governor John M. Slaton Commutes Leo Frank’s Death Sentence, June 21, 1915.
Circuit Court Denies New Trial for Phillips County “Rioters,” December 27, 1919.
The Supreme Court Overturns a State Capital Case on Due Process Grounds in Moore v. Dempsey, February 19, 1923.
The Road to Furman The Due Process Revolution, 1923–1971.
Hollace Ransdell Reports for the ACLU on the Scottsboro, Alabama Case, May 1931.
Justice George Sutherland Rules on the Denial of the Right of Counsel in Powell v. Alabama, November 7, 1932.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, in Norris v. Alabama, Discusses the Exclusion of African Americans from Juries, April 1, 1935.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes Rules on the Inadmissibility of Coerced Confessions in State Criminal Trials, February 17, 1936.
The Supreme Court Applies the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, January 8, 1934.
Justice Benjamin Cardozo Rejects the Claim That the Double Jeopardy Clause Applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment, December 6, 1937.
The Supreme Court on the Constitutionality of Sending Willie Francis Back to the Electric Chair, January 13, 1947.
Justice Felix Frankfurter Reviews Georgia’s System for Determining the Sanity of the Accused, February 20, 1950.
Justice Arthur Goldberg Examines the Constitutionality of Capital Punishment in Cases of Rape, October 21, 1963.
The Law Firm of Jenner & Block Discusses Its Client, William Witherspoon, and the Case of Witherspoon v. Illinois, Fall 2001.
The Arkansas Supreme Court Makes Its Case on the Exclusion of Jurors Based on the Jurors’ Views of Capital Punishment, May 5, 1969.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Office for the Rights of the Indigent Broadly Attack the Death Penalty on Behalf of Edward Boykin, October Term 1968.
Distinguished Lawyers File Amicus Curiae Brief in Opposition to Single-Verdict Procedures in Capital Cases, October Term 1968.
The Supreme Court Examines Due Process and the Death Penalty in McGautha v. California, May 3, 1971.
The Court and Popular Opinion Moratorium and Reinstatement, 1972–1976.
Brief Filed on Behalf of William Henry Furman by His Attorneys, September 9, 1971.
Brief Filed on Behalf of the Synagogue Council of America and Its Constituents and the American Jewish Congress in Furman v. Georgia, September 9, 1971.
The Supreme Court Declares Existing Death Penalty Statutes Unconstitutional, but Five Justices in the Majority Cannot Agree on the Grounds, June 29, 1972.
Five Justices Endorse the Per Curiam in Furman, June 29, 1972.
Four Justices Dissent in Furman v. Georgia, June 29, 1972.
California’s Supreme Court Declares That the Death Penalty Violates California’s Constitution, February 18, 1972.
Californians Respond to State Court’s Decision on Death Penalty with Proposition 17, November 7, 1972.
State Senator H. L. Richardson Writes in Favor of Restoring California’s Death Penalty, October 31, 1972.
Anthony Amsterdam Writes in Opposition to California’s Proposition 17, November 4, 1972.
President Richard Nixon Urges Restoration of the Federal Death Penalty, March 14, 1973.
The Supreme Court Upholds the Revised Death Penalty Statutes in Gregg v. Georgia, July 2, 1976.
Georgia’s Revised Capital Punishment Statute, 1976.
Florida’s Death Penalty Statute, 1976.
The Supreme Court Upholds the Revised Florida Statute on Capital Punishment in Proffitt v. Florida, July 2, 1976.
The Supreme Court Upholds the Revised Texas Death Penalty Statute in Jurek v. Texas, July 2, 1976.
North Carolina Adopts Mandatory Death Penalty Statute, 1974.
The Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina Claims That Mandatory Death Penalty Statutes Constitute Cruel and Unusual Punishment, July 2, 1976.
Delegating Death: The White-Rehnquist Court, 1976–1989.
Norman Mailer Recounts the Execution of Gary Gilmore, 1979.
The Supreme Court Denies Stay of Execution for John Spenkelink, May 22, 1979.
The Supreme Court Strikes Down the Death Penalty in Cases of Rape of Adult Women in Coker v. Georgia, June 29, 1977.
The Supreme Court Decides That States May Not Limit Mitigating Evidence in Capital Cases, July 3, 1978.
The Supreme Court Requires Individualized Consideration of Mitigating Factors in Eddings v. Oklahoma, January 19, 1982.
The Supreme Court Overturns Felony Murder Sentence as Cruel and Unusual Punishment, July 2, 1982.
The Case of Coleman v. Balkcom Yields Lively Debate on the Supreme Court Regarding Death Penalty Appeals, April 27, 1981.
The Justices Reverse California Supreme Court on Eighth Amendment, July 6, 1983.
The Supreme Court Reprimands Ninth Circuit on the Execution of Robert Harris, April 21, 1992.
California Executes Robert Alton Harris after Long Legal Battle, April 22, 1992.
The Supreme Court Decides That the Eighth Amendment Bars Execution of the Insane, June 26, 1986.
Baldus Study on Race and the Death Penalty in Georgia.
Justices Reject Statistical Study on Racial Disparities in Death Penalty Cases, April 22, 1987.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on Executing the Mentally Retarded, June 26, 1989.
The Supreme Court Rules That States May Execute Juvenile Murderers in Stanford v. Kentucky, June 26, 1989.
Tinkering with the Machinery Limiting Death, Reaffirming Death, 1989–2009.
Congress Limits Federal Habeas Corpus Appeals, April 24, 1996.
The Justices Debate “Actual Innocence” and the Death Penalty, January 25, 1993.
Document 5.3 Justice Harry Blackmun and Justice Antonin Scalia Debate the Death Penalty in Callins v. Collins, February 22, 1994.
The Supreme Court in Atkins v. Virginia Bans Execution of the Mentally Retarded, June 20, 2002.
The Supreme Court Rules That the Eighth Amendment Prohibits Imposition of the Death Penalty on Persons under Eighteen, March 1, 2005.
Illinois Governor George Ryan Commutes 167 Death Sentences, January 11, 2003.
The Justices Debate Kansas Death Penalty Statute, April 25, 2006.
The Supreme Court Upholds the Constitutionality of Lethal Injection in Baze v. Rees, April 16, 2008.
New Jersey Commission Recommends Abolition of Death Penalty, January 2, 2007.
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine on the State’s Repeal of the Death Penalty, December 17, 2007.
New Mexico Abolishes the Death Penalty, March 18, 2009.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Signs Repeal of the Death Penalty, March 18, 2009.
Nebraska Supreme Court Declares Electric Chair Cruel and Unusual Punishment, February 8, 2008.
Selected Bibliography.