The Study Guide for the Third Test

The Study Guide for the Third Test - The Study Guide for...

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The Study Guide for the Third Test I. Furman v. Georgia (72’), Woodson v. North Carolina (76’) and Gregg v. Georgia (76’) - the 8 th Amendment: the Constitution of the United States prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment - the 14 th Amendment: this guarantees “due process of law” - “due process of law”: An established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual. 1. Furman v. Georgia 1) the death penalty is unconstitutional not because its nature is cruel and unusual, but because it was being administered in an arbitrary and capricious manner. 2) the absence of explicit standards allows unchecked prejudice to operated under the heading of discretion. 3) So such standardless discretion violates not only the 8 th Amendment but also 14 th Amendment. 2. Woodson v. North Carolina North Carolina moved to dissolve the objection of standardless discretion by making the death penalty mandatory for certain crimes. However the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory death sentences are unconstitutional. 3. Gregg v. Georgia The death penalty is not unconstitutional when imposed at the discretion of a jury for the crime of murder, as long as appropriate safeguards are provided against any arbitrary or capricious imposition. II. Major Opinions in Gregg v. Georgia 1. Regarding cruel and unusual punishment (wanton pain and proportionality) - a punishment is cruel and unusual if it fails to accord with “evolving standards of decency” i.e. the contemporary social value. 2. Regarding due process a. a bifurcated procedure: the question of sentence is not considered untill the determination of guilt ahs been made. b. the jury is given guidance regarding the factors about the crime and the defendant that the state deems particularly relevant to the sentencing decision. 3. Regarding retribution a. in extreme cases, the capital punishment is an expression of the community’s belief that certain crimes are themselves so grievous an affront to humanity that the only adequate response may be the penalty of death. b. We cannot say that the punishment is invariably disproportionate to the crime. It is an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes.
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4. Regarding deterrence. a. Although it is controversial whether or not there are statistical evidences to show that the death penalty as a deterrent to crimes, the death penalty can have some influences on carefully contemplated murders. 5. The lecturer’s criticism - Regarding to deterrence - Regarding to Due Process. - Retribution cannot be a suffient condition to justify the death penalty
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The Study Guide for the Third Test - The Study Guide for...

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