Sunday, July 16, 2006

 

still arbitrary - still capricious...

july 2, 2006 marked the 30th anniversary of the u.s. supreme court's decision in gregg v. georgia, an historic ruling that upheld newly crafted death penalty statutes and signaled the beginning of the modern era of capital punishment...

the skinny on gregg v. ga is that it was supposed to remedy the concerns of the court over the arbitrary nature of capital punishment which led it to declare death penalty statutes unconstitutional in furman v. georgia 1972...

justice potter stewart is most often quoted for saying that capital punishment is cruel and unusual in the same way that getting struck by lightening is cruel and unusual but his more substantive statement is as follows...

"the penalty of death differs from all other forms of criminal punishment, not in degree but in kind...it is unique in its rejection of rehabilitation of the convict as a basic purpose of criminal justice...and it is unique, finally, in its absolute renunciation of all that is embodied in our concept of humanity..."

here in tennessee we were still reeling from only the second execution in 46 years and did not acknowledge this solemn and important anniversary - my bad...

click here to read a concise and thoughtful op-ed piece by professor michael meltsner, who worked as an attorney with the naacp legal defense fund in its efforts to challenge the death penalty in the 1960s and 70s...
Comments : Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post :

Create a Link



<< Home