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
• 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