Constitutionality of the Death Penalty

Constitutionality of the Death Penalty
Furman v. Georgia was a landmark case in the annals of American Law because it was thefirst time the Supreme Court turned to the controversial question of capital punishment. Capital punishment has always been a hotly debated issue in the United States. When this issue is coupled with the issue of racial discrimination, the matter becomes hotter than ever. And this is precisely what Furman v. Georgia was all about: a black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
The American public has consistently favored the use of the death penalty. Although anti-capital-punishment groups in the 19th century won some victories in slowing down the drive for death-penalty laws, most of their successes were short-lived. By the early 20th century, executions were common and widespread, reaching record numbers by the 1930s and 1940s, when more than 100 people were executed each year. But as public and official confidence in the effectiveness and fairness of capital punishment began to wane in the 1960s, the number of yearly executions dropped to the single digits. By the early 1970s, there was an unofficial end to executions in the country.
Opponents of the death punishment lauded the Supreme Court decision in the 1972 ruling that a jury’s unregulated option to impose the death penalty led toward a ;wanton and freakish pattern of its use; that was cruel and unusual. However, the anti-death penalty lobby was not the outright winners because the court failed to call the death penalty unconstitutional. Just a few years later, capital punishment was back with full force in the United States.
Furman, a 26-year-old black male, killed a householder while seeking to enter the home at night. Furman shot the deceased through a closed door. Furman;s mental abilities were brought into question, due to his apparent lack of education (he had dropped out before the 6th grade).Pending trial, he w…

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