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Slow Dancing With Death: The Supreme Court And Capital Punishment, 1963-2006, James S. Liebman
This Article addresses four questions:
Why hasn't the Court left capital punishment unregulated, as it has other areas of substantive criminal law? The Court is compelled to decide the death penalty's constitutionality by the peculiar responsibility it bears for this form of state violence.
Why didn't the Court abolish the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia after finding every capital statute and verdict unconstitutional? The Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause was too opaque to reveal whether the death penalty was unlawful for some or all crimes and, if not, whether there were law-bound ways to administer it ...