Death Penalty Sentencing and the Criminal Justice System

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Jpz777 04/15/2013 Order # 2091084 An examination of death penalty sentencing procedures within the American criminal justice system suggests that the legal and moral authority to execute condemned criminals granted to a government has been tested time and time again, only to be reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. While the 1960's saw a series of failed attempts to ban the practice, launched by death penalty abolitionist groups firm in their belief that murder can never be justified, it was not until 1972 that a majority of Supreme Court justices ruled to prohibit state-mandated executions. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing a forum for informed discussion regarding capital punishment, "the issue of arbitrariness of the death penalty was brought before the Supreme Court in 1972 in Furman v. Georgia, Jackson v. Georgia, and Branch v. Texas (known collectively as the landmark case Furman v. Georgia (408 U.S. 238))" (DPIC, 2013). While the court previously ruled in Crampton v. Ohio and McGautha v. California that the application of capital punishment did not result in arbitrary and capricious sentencing, the 1972 Furman case challenged the Eight Amendment, whereas the McGautha case cited the Fourteenth Amendment's due process provision. The choice to attack the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amedment, while preserving the original arbitrary and capricious sentencing argument, proved
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