Monday, December 19, 2005

Outline - Criminal Law - V - Death Penalty

Criminal Law (2005 Fall)


  1. Constitutionality
    1. Furman (1972) – Death penalty violated 8th Amendment. Holding gave two alternatives to states:
      1. Legislatively mandate death penalty in certain cases.
      2. Establish guidelines to determine who gets death penalty.
    2. Gregg (1976) – Bifurcated proceedings imposing death penalty constitutional.
    3. Woodson (1976) – Mandatory death sentence for any 1st degree murder violates 8th Amendment.
  2. Non-Murder Liability
    1. Enmund – Defendant drove getaway car. Death penalty may not be applied.
    2. Tison – Defendants helped their father, a known convict, to escape and take hostages. Father then killed four hostages. Death penalty upheld because of “major participation ... combined with reckless indifference to human life”.
  3. McCleskey v. Kemp
    1. Baldus Report showed statistical likelihood death penalty would be imposed on black defendant when victim is white.
    2. Supreme Court upheld conviction.
    3. Statistical discrimination is not intentional abuse.
    4. Jury discretion is not abuse.

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