furman v. georgia Essay

1859 Words Oct 8th, 2013 8 Pages
THE DEATH PENALTY

The death penalty or capital punishment has been part of our humanity for years and years. Existed since ancient times, according to people a person who has committed an atrocious act, was sentence to death penalty or capital punishment. The death penalty begins back in the 18th century B.C. in the code of king Hammaurabi of Baylon; who was accused of committing 25 crimes. In years past, the punishments where more crucial then today, the execution procedures had no boundaries, forms of killing where endless. Drowning, whacking, “damnatio ad Bestia” which was death cause by a wild animal, dismemberment: dividing the body into quarter-usually with an ax, throwing then off a high place, impalement: one of the most
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Furman had one thing going against him at all times; he was a black man in the 60s and 70s and most blacks guilty of committing murder in that state was a reason enough to sentence to death penalty. In 1972 the case reach the Supreme Court which they rule 5-4 that the death penalty as then administered violated the 8th amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment and the 14th amendment equal protection clause. The courts typically issue the decision with a majority opinion written and sign by one of the justices. On occasion the court will issue a per curiam decision which takes the form of a brief, unassigned opinion. All 9 judges had different opinions, although 5 justices voted to reverse the death sentences, there concurring opinions revealed that it was shaky coalition. Each majority justice, Mr. Douglas, Mr. Stewart, Mr. White, Mr. Marshall, and Mr. Brennan, wrote a separate concurring opinion supporting the majority decision. Each believed that Furman had indeed been deprived of his constitutional rights. The justices could not agree on an argument striking down the death penalty across the board, however. This unusual procedure reflected not only the intense differences of opinion within the majority, but also the difficulty of deciding the constitutionality—or presumed lack thereof—of the death sentence.
The four dissenters, Chief

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