The Death Penalty The Supreme Court changed the face of United States criminal justice system in Furman v. Georgia (1972), when it held that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. While the court was specifically addressing three cases in Georgia, the effect of the decision was to invalidate the sentences of all inmates on states’ death rows. Meanwhile, state legislatures scrambled to rewrite capital punishment laws that would conform to the constitution. After four years without a death penalty, Georgia again appeared before the Supreme Court arguing that its re-written death penalty statute was constitutional (Gregg v. Georgia, 1976). Georgia’s...The end:
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