In the course of American history, nearly 15.000 people have been executed under civil authority. While the use of execution has declined throughout most of the First World, the USA remains as an exception ? the only democracy ? where belief in the utility of capital punishment as the ultimate deterrent is not only active, but is also frequently put into practice. Between 1976 and 1993, 226 executions took place. There were only 11 executions until 1983.
[...] Bibliography Society's final solution, a history and discussion of the death penalty. University Press of America: 1985, Lanham. XVI-266 p. Keith HARRIES, The Last walk: a geography of execution in the US, 1786- 1985, Political Geography (1995, July, vol p. 473-495. Donald HOOK, Lothar KAHN. Death in the Balance. The Debate over Capital Punishment. Lexington Books: Lexington XI-134 p. David Hesseltine. Capital Punishment Jurisprudence. [...]
[...] In 1907, Kansas abolished all death penalties. Between 1911 and more States abolished capital punishment (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, Arizona, Missouri and Tennessee the latter in all cases but rape). Votes in other states came close to ending the death penalty. B. From 1917 to 1955, the tendency towards abolishing the death penalty 1. Between the two world wars, capital punishment gained in fame However between 1917 and 1955, the death penalty abolition movement slowed again. Washington, Arizona, Missouri and Oregon reinstated it in 1919-1920. [...]
[...] This effectively ended capital Punishment in the US. Advocates of capital punishment began proposing new capital statutes, which they believed would end discrimination in capital sentencing, therefore satisfy a majority of the Court. By early States had again passed death penalty laws and nearly two hundred prisoners were on death row. In Gregg v. Georgia (1976), the Supreme Court upheld Georgia's newly passed death penalty and said that the death penalty was not always cruel and unusual punishment. Death row executions could again begin. [...]
[...] Oklahoma, 1988: The Court considered the question of execution of minors under age of 16 at the time of murder and she ruled that Thompson's death was cruel and unusual. But strangely enough, in Penry v. Lynaugh, 1989: Court held that persons considered retarded, but legally sane, could receive the death penalty. It was not cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment if jurors were given the opportunity to consider mitigating circumstances. In this case, the defendant had the mental age of approximately a six-year old child. B. Why should death penalty be abolished? [...]
[...] All three later recanted their testimony, including the only eyewitness, who stated that he was pressured by the prosecutors to implicate McMillian in the crime. In the end, new attorneys, not paid by the State of Alabama, voluntarily took over the case and eventually found that the prosecutors had illegally withheld evidence, which would have pointed McMillian's innocence. Finally, the State agreed to investigate its earlier handling of the case and then admitted that a grave mistake had been made. He was eventually freed. [...]
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