Capital Pun Recent Developments

Capital Pun Recent Developments - The Pendulum Swings...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The Pendulum Swings Justice Harry Blackmun. “From this day forward,” Blackmun wrote in February 1994, “I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. For more than 20 years I have endeavored -- indeed, I have struggled--along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural and substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor. Rather than continue to coddle the Court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved and the need for regulation eviscerated, I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.”
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
The Pendulum Swings Referring to a case from Georgia, decided in 1987, Justice Blackmun chided his colleagues on the Court who had turned their backs on “staggering evidence” that racial prejudice continued to infect Georgia’s capital sentencing scheme. Blackmun Wondered: Was there truth in the suggestion “that discrimination and arbitrariness could not be purged from the administration of capital punishment without sacrificing the equally essential component of fairness -- individualized sentencing?” Blackmun’s concerns were underscored in 1990 when the U.S. General Accounting Office issued a wide-ranging report. This review concluded that an avalanche of research done over the post- Furman years suggested some improvement, but continued to reveal patterns of race-based inequities. There was little room for doubt.
Background image of page 2
The Pendulum Swings Inequitable sentencing was only part of the story. In 1987 the Stanford Law Review published a detailed examination of some 350 cases involving convictions of individuals, later found to be innocent. The conclusions were again unequivocal. If the evidence failed “to convince the reader of the fallibility of human judgment,” the authors wrote, “then nothing will.” Five years later, in 1992, the study was updated. The conclusions remained the same.
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 16

Capital Pun Recent Developments - The Pendulum Swings...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online