bifurcated (2 stage: Guilty->is death penalty justified?) procedure which was viewed favorably by the supreme court in Gregg v Georgia (1976). ■ Ring v. Arizona (2002) - Juries must be involved in both stages of the bifurcated process ● Mitigating Circumstances: ○ Insane ○ Mentally handicapped (1989-2002) ○ Youthful offenders (18 now; used to be 16) ■ Decisions can change over time based on the “evolving standards of decency” test which takes into account the changing norms and standards of society ● The debate over capital punishment focuses on several key issues: ○ Deterrence - does it deter crime? ○ Incapacitation - does it make for a safer society ○ Fallibility - does the system make mistakes? ○ Arbitrariness - is it still used in an arbitrary manner ○ Constitutionality - is it cruel and unusuak ○ Discrimination - is it unfairly applied ● Future of the Death Penalty: ○ In 1999, we executed 98 inmates v. 43 inmates in 2012; 277 sentenced to death and 78 in 2011 ○ SC decisions against DP for mentally handicapped and juvenile offenders ○ Nearly all states now give juries the choice of LWOP as an alternative to DP- juries use LWOP ○ Financial Considerations: DP trials cost $2million more than when DP is not the option
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- Spring '14
- Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court