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Court Cases & Terms

Sumner v. Shuman 1987 Overturned mandatory death penalty for a murder while already serving life No more mandatory death penalties!
Roberts v. Louisiana II 1977 Mandatory death for killing police officer is unconstitutional because juries must consider mitigating and aggravating evidence
Woodson v. North Carolina 1976 Mandatory death penalty is unconstitutional because juries cannot consider mitigating and aggravating evidence. Decision based on history of mandatory death penalty law
Jurich v. Texas 1996 USSC upholds new* mandatory death sentence law - WTF moment!! Jurry must consider if defendant will commit future crime Must vote unanimously on: - If execution deters and retribution - If execution will prevent future crime
Gregg v. Georgia 1976 Death row penalty does not always violate 8th amendment First time court states opinion on death penalty Punishment must be justified, proportionate, serve deterrence/retribution
Georgia's *new* Death Law Provides 10 aggravating circumstances, juries told to consider all mitigating circumstances but does not provide mitigating factors to jury
Furman v. Georgia 1972 Struck down all death penalties because juries were not given guidelines on sentencing "New 8th amendment created", this is actually a due process issue
Per Curiam Unsigned opinion issued by Supreme Court
MacGutha v. California 1971 Court upheld no guidelines when determining sentence for life or death
Witherspoon v. Illinois 1968 Unconstitutional law that creates biased juries by selecting prospective jurors who have conscientious scruples
US v. Jackson 1968 Lynberg Act (death penalty for those who kill & kidnap but no death if you plead guilty) is unconstitutional because it urges you give up rights (5th, 6th, 14th amendments)
Robinson v. California 1962 8th amendment applied to states as well as federal government by selective incorporation Difference between act and status, punish act not status
Selective Incorporation case by case basis on which the Bill of Rights was applied to the states
Tropp v. Dulles 1958 Denationalizing someone violates 8th amendment cruel & unusual clause 8th amendment draws its meaning from evolving standarads of decency that marks progress of maturing society
Francis v. Reswaber 1947 Botched electrocution does not violate 8th amendment cruel & unusual because it was not intentional
Baze v. Rees 2008 Lethal injection does not violate 8th amendment cruel & unusual Made standards to challenge execution - Substantial risk of harm - Must have alternative method
Nebraska v. Mata 2008 4-3 vote electric chair violates state constitution 8th amendment cruel & unusual
Weems v. US 1910 Established grossly disproportionate sentence violate 8th amendment cruel & unusual
Hill v. McDonugh 2006 Inmates can use section 1983 to challenge the method of execution instead of habeas corpus, w5n $$$ too
Section 1983 Challenge death row sentence Go straight to federal court instead of exhausting all state court options like habeas, win money, don't waste state funds
Nelson v. Campbell 2004 Legal to challenge death row sentence using section 1983 "Cut down" procedure unconstitutional
Injunctive Relief An order from a court telling a party to a lawsuit to either do or not do something
Glass v. Louisiana 1985 Constitutional to use electric chair Moving away from electrocutions
Heckler v. Chaney 1985 FDA does not have to regulate drugs used in lethal injections, ;egl to use them
Campbell v. Wood Hanging is constitutional because they follow Army guidelines and improved durability/strength of rope
Sec 1983 v. Habeas Corpus HC: attack fact/length of sentence 1983: State who abuse constitutional rights can be sued
Wilkerson v. Utah 1879 Method of execution is unconstitutional if: - it inflicts torture - it inflicts unnecessary cruelty - produces lingering death
Death Row Phenomena Being on death row for so long is cruel and unusual punishment because of violence and other conditions
Felony Murder Rule Accomplices can be charged with 1st degree murder oh snap!
Jurek v. Texas Guidelines Death if kill cop/fireman; murder while kidnapping, burglary, rape, arson; murder for hire; murder while fleeing jail; killing prison worker Jury considers if death was intent, possible future crime, killer was provoked
Guided Discretion Guilt and innocence of capital offenses are held separately from punishment hearings
Callins v. Collins 1994 Fairness and consistency are not achievable together Plenty of racism in death cases; Difficult to appeal based on innocence; Federal courts don't give meaningful review of constitutional claims
Lockett v. Ohio Supreme Court consistent on two rulings: no 100% mandatory death penalties, jury must consider all mitigating evidence
Walton v. Arizona 1990 Any evidence that favors life can be entered by defense and must be considered by jury, and prosecution cannot decide the weight of mitigating/aggravating factors
Proffitt v. Florida 1976 Jury rules by majority whether life/death, judge makes final decision (Florida) VERSUS Jury makes life/death choice unanimously (Georgia)
Soering v. UK 1989 Article III forbids EU to extradite US citizens if they face death sentence, must receive assurances
Short v. Netherlands 1990 Article VI forbids EU to extradite US citizens if they face death sentences, must receive assurances
Short, Soering, Burns Standards EU usually makes sure defendant will not face death despite the presence of conflicting treaties
US v. Burns 2001 Article VII forbids Canada to extradite US citizens if they face death sentence, must receive assurances
(Stanislaus) Roberts v. Louisiana 1976 Unconstitutional mandatory death sentence for those who kill: fireman/cop; killing with other felonies; kill for hire; intent to harm 2+ people; killing with murder conviction/life sentence Gave jury four choices: guilty of 1st, 2nd, manslaughter, not
Created by: ragresta