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Forty years after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia, the debate over whether application of the death penalty is arbitrary and discriminatory continues.
Today, only a few dozen scattered counties actually impose death sentences, supporting the death penalty’s arbitrariness.
Rather than acting with due diligence and complete transparency to ensure effective and constitutional execution procedures, states are experimenting with drug protocols based on availability and passing secrecy laws to avoid scrutiny.
A review of cases since the U.S. Supreme Court held that per-sons with intellectual disability could not be sentenced to death or executed reveals deeper structural problems with the death penalty as a whole.
In an excerpt from their book, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, the authors describe how the South’s practice of capital punishment provided the driving force for the Court’s constitutional intervention.
Although support for the death penalty is in decline, capital commutations are not on the rise. Weak arguments include a perceived political risk, but perhaps a misunderstanding of the significance, role, and rationale of clemency is to blame.
Ten years ago, the ABA and other organizations endorsed the principle that a finding of serious mental illness should preclude the death penalty, a policy now under consideration by several states’ legislatures.
Critical to ensuring fairness when imposing the most severe punishment, judges must recognize implicit bias in themselves and others within the criminal justice system.
PSODP aims to confront concerns about the death penalty and explore alternative ways to achieve a more just public safety system.
Governor Tom Wolf, along with five of his peers, has recognized the widespread problems with the death penalty, standing up for fairness, justice, and accuracy by suspending executions in his state.