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Jury

Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law

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The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller Jun 2020

The Eighth Amendment Power To Discriminate, Kathryn E. Miller

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For the last half-century, Supreme Court doctrine has required that capital jurors consider facts and characteristics particular to individual defendants when determining their sentences. While liberal justices have long touted this individualized sentencing requirement as a safeguard against unfair death sentences, in practice the results have been disappointing. The expansive discretion that the requirement confers on overwhelmingly White juries has resulted in outcomes that are just as arbitrary and racially discriminatory as those that existed in the years before the temporary abolition of the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia.' After decades of attempting to eliminate the requirement, conservative justices …