Capital Punishment outline

Capital Punishment outline - Capital Punishment Notes 09/06...

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Capital Punishment Notes 09/06 8 th amendment issues I. Types of Execution a. Kemmler - constitutionality of electric chair i. Ex post facto question bc he’s sentenced to death by hanging and then NY adopted electric chair. Kemmler gets chair even though it was adopted after his sentence. ii. SC upholds. b. Upheld firing squad etc. c. Francis i. F was 14 year old kid accused of murder, got the electric chair. Brought chair to your town. Electrocuted a few times but didn’t die. Laywer got stay of execution. Went to SC on whether after two bungled executions- they could execute him a third time. SC said no problem with that and they killed Francis on third try. II. Racial issues: NAACP/LDF had been fighting the DP, trying to slow it down so that they could get SC to decide against it. They saw the system as contrary to racial justice. 90% executed for rape = black men. . white men got sentence for rape but often got commuted at the last minute. III. Procedural Questions- what statutes can prescribe re: who can give DP a. Law can’t prescribe that only jury gives DP i. US v. Jackson - struck down federal law that said only can get DP from jury. . 1. court said impermissible interference with right to jury trial since people would maybe waive their right to jury bc of DP possibility. b. Procedural challenges (due process) i. McGautha v. Ca (2 cases consolidated Ohio and Calif) 1. 14 th amendment due process challenge to the procedures that were in place in Calif: 2. lack of standards and complete discretion a. bifurcated trial- b. no criteria for selecting the sentence p.22 “notwithstanding facts proved… you are entirely free to act according to your own judgment… and absolute discretion” 3. Does this violate due process? Court says no. a. court looks at historical practice. b. The idea is the system is fair and the burden is on you to convince the court. c. At common law, all felonies were capital.
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4. reasoning: a. Benefit of clergy- some felons are given a second shot b. We used to have mandatory punishments, court found them unworkable- i. one of the problems being: jury nullification. If the jury knows that the guy is definitely going to be put to death, it might prevent them from finding the guy guilty in more difficult cases rather than convict/kill him. c. Evidence for this problem might be incomplete d. Juror discretion = answer to this problem e. There are statutes, model penal code etc that list aggravating and mitigating factors. ii. Ohio case: 1. Crampton complained about due process and also about the unitary trial 2. Says he has a 14 th amend right to testify at sentencing and a unitary trial puts this in conflict with 5 th amend right not to testify. 3.
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Capital Punishment outline - Capital Punishment Notes 09/06...

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