In Furman v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Furman’s counsel. Three Justices agreed that Georgia law, as applied, was arbitrary and potentially discriminatory. Moreover, one Justice challenged the value of the death penalty and doubted it served any of the alleged purposes for which it was employed.
Although many challenges subsequent to Furman have been raised and arguably resolved by the Court, the underlying challenges raised by Furman appear to remain prevalent with the Court. Justice Breyer recently echoed the concurring opinions of Furman in his dissenting opinion from Glossip v. Gross, when he stated: “In this world, or at least in this Nation, we can have a death penalty that at least arguably serves legitimate penological purposes or we can have a procedural system that at least arguably seeks reliability and fairness in the death penalty’s application. We cannot have both.”
This Note will explore both sides of Justice Breyer’s contention in Glossip.
William C. Newsome,
A Promise Unfulfilled: Challenges To Georgia’s Death Penalty Statute Post-Furman,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol33/iss3/7
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