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Lecture

American Constitutional and Legal History 23.docx

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Department
Law
Course
LAWS 2180
Professor
Alan Rogers
Semester
Spring

Description
Boiken v.Alabama (1969): • Issue: Is it cruel and unusual to sentence someone to death for a robbery of a few dollars where no one died? He was sentenced to death by state. So was it a violation of the 8 th Amendment as applied by the 14 Amendment to sentence someone to death for robbery. • The court said no, it was not cruel and unusual. Mcgoutha v. California (1971) • NAACP took it to the Supreme Court. McGoutha shot his girlfriend while on the toilet. • Argument was that the jury did not have standards and sentenced him to death arbitrarily. • The court found the argument unconvincing because it would not be possible for the legislature to set a number of standards for the death penalty. • Justice Brennan: this is the end of the effort to end capital punishment.AKAhe thought the argument held weight and was shot down anyways. 2 Changes happened between 1971 and 1972: 1). Professor Walter Oberer: wrote an article arguing that a death qualifying jury is more likely to convict a person and use capital punishment. 2). Number of people polled who said they were in favor of the death penalty declined to around 40%. Furmen v. Georgia (1972): • Furmen: young blackAmerican who is mentally retarded and an ex-convict. • Furmen robbed a house and tripped over a gun, it went off and accidently kills the robbery victim. • Furmen makes a statement that he was in the house to rob it and he shot the man through the door. Then changes it in court that he tripped over a wire in the house and shot the man by accident. • Amsterdam was his Lawyer and he stayed up all night writing the dissent, got a call that he had lost his dissent and he remembered it word for word. His argument was agreed
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