Chapter 11 Lecture Notes - Chapter 11 Lecture Notes 1...

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Chapter 11 Lecture Notes Chapter 11, McCleskey v. Kemp Lecture Notes Lesson: Factual Knowledge Presented Is Irrelevant to the Legal Issue Example: Discrimination in the Imposition of the Death Penalty Case : McCleskey v. Kemp Court : United States Supreme Court FACTS OF CASE McCleskey, a Black man, robbed a furniture store and killed a White police officer during the course of the robbery In making its decision whether to impose the death sentence, the jury considered the aggravating circumstances and mitigating circumstances surrounding the crime Under GA law, in the penalty phase of the trial, the jury could not consider imposing the death penalty, unless it found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the murder was accompanied by at least one aggravating circumstance • The jury found two aggravating circumstances to exist beyond a reasonable doubt The murder was committed during the course of an armed robbery, and The murder was committed upon a peace officer engaged in the performance of his duties • McCleskey offered no mitigating evidence • The jury recommended that McCleskey be sentenced to death McCleskey’s Appeal McCleskey appealed claiming, amongst other things, that the GA capital sentencing process is administered in a racially discriminatory manner in violation of the 8th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution 8 th Amendment : “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted .” 14 th Amendment : “…No state shall …nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” (e.g., Planned Parenthood case); “ nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws (e.g., VMI case) “. ..” SOCIAL SCIENCE STUDY (STUDY) To prove his legal arguments, McCleskey offered a social science study that examined over 2,000 murder cases that occurred in GA during the 1970's 1
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Chapter 11 Lecture Notes The results showed numerous disparities in the death penalty process in GA, which were related to the victims and defendants race 1. This study revealed a disparity, based upon the victim’s and defendant’s races, in the imposition of death sentences in GA: Victim’s Race Defendants charged with killing Whites received the death penalty in 11% of the cases Defendants charged with killing Blacks received the death penalty in only 1% of the cases Defendant’s Race 4% of the Black defendants received the death penalty 7% of the White defendants received the death penalty 2. The defendant’s race interacted with the victim’s race to create another type of disparity: The death penalty was given in: 22% of the cases involving Black defendants and White victims (McCleskey’s case) 8% of the cases involving White defendants and White victims 3% of the cases involving White defendants and Black victims 1% of the cases involving Black
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2010 for the course PSYC 377A taught by Professor Sales during the Fall '08 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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Chapter 11 Lecture Notes - Chapter 11 Lecture Notes 1...

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