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The Death Penalty and the Eighth Amendment. Admin. Opportunity to participate, be on the news! 2:00, Thursday, Room 117 Wooten First 60 students Line up at 1:50 Need a FERPA waiver – cross off “1050.001” and write in “1040.002”. Admin.

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The death penalty and the eighth amendment l.jpg

The Death Penalty and theEighth Amendment


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Admin

  • Opportunity to participate, be on the news!

  • 2:00, Thursday, Room 117 Wooten

    • First 60 students

    • Line up at 1:50

  • Need a FERPA waiver – cross off “1050.001” and write in “1040.002”


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Admin

  • Workbook 6-6, Question 14, Answer “A” has a typo (it should say “20%” instead of “10%”)

  • 6-5 asks for information about women in particular jobs . . . If the information for a particular job is not available, don’t worry about it . . . Use the information on the website the best you can.


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Admin

  • Exam Make-up

  • If you want to retake (as opposed to make up) exam, you need to e-mail me ([email protected])

  • Why you shouldn’t do it . . .

    • Retake score will be final, even if it is lower

    • Gap since you learned material

    • Format


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Eighth Amendment

  • Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment

  • “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society”


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Modern History of Death Penalty

  • Furman v. Georgia (1972)

  • Responses:

    • Death penalty for everyone!

      • Rejected by Supreme Court in Woodson v. N.C. (1976))

    • Aggravating and mitigating factors

      • Accepted by the Supreme Court in Gregg v. Georgia (1976))


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Death Penalty Today

  • 37 states, the federal government, and the U.S. military have capital statutes

  • Number of inmates on death row = 3,350

    • 393 death row inmates in Texas

    • 660 in California, but CA is slow to carry out sentences

  • Lethal injection available everywhere except Nebraska (electrocution)


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Public Opinion(All May 2006, Gallup)

  • Are your for or against DP?

    • 65% For

    • 28% Against

  • Which is better penalty, DP or LWOP?

    • 47% DP

    • 48% LWOP

  • Is DP imposed fairly?

    • 60% Fairly

    • 35% Unfairly


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8th Amendment

  • Is death penalty per se cruel and unusual?

    • Only Justices Marshall and Brennan have advocated this position

  • Is death penalty as applied cruel and unusual?

    • Method of execution

    • Proportionality with crime (Coker v. Georgia (1977))

    • Certain classes of defendants


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Classes of Defendants

  • Mentally ill (Ford v. Wainwright (1986))

  • Mentally retarded (Atkins v. Virginia (2002))

  • Juveniles (Roper v. Simmons (2005))


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Close-up on Roper

  • Simmons 17 at time of crime

  • 1989, Supreme Court held that 16-18 year olds could be executed

  • What changed?


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Justice Kennedy’s Opinion

  • What evidence is there that standards of decency now prohibit execution of 16- and 17-year olds?

    • Steady (though slow) trend toward abolition

    • 5 states abolished juvenile dp after 1989

    • Even in states that allow it, juvenile dp rare

    • U.S. only country that still had juvenile dp (not controlling, but telling)


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Justice Kennedy’s Opinion

  • DP reserved for most serious crimes, most culpable defendants

  • Why are juveniles less culpable than adults?

    • Less mature, more given to impulsive behavior

    • More susceptible to bad influences

    • Character of juveniles not yet fixed (hope for rehabilitation)

  • Purpose of dp: retribution and deterrence


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