A study on capital punishment and the eight amendment

Georgia, the Supreme Court's seminal case applying the Eighth Amendment to the death penalty, the Court has developed two principles limiting the states' power to define death-eligibility: Stephens that states are required to "genuinely narrow" the death-eligible class to avoid the risk of arbitrariness in the imposition of the death penalty and the principle from Enmund v. Florida and Tison v.

A study on capital punishment and the eight amendment

Petitioner was charged in a Florida state court with having broken and entered a poolroom with intent to commit a misdemeanor. This offense is a felony under [p] Florida law. Appearing in court without funds and without a lawyer, petitioner asked the court to appoint counsel for him, whereupon the following colloquy took place: Gideon, I am sorry, but I cannot appoint Counsel to represent you in this case.

Under the laws of the State of Florida, the only time the Court can appoint Counsel to represent a Defendant is when that person is charged with a capital offense. I am sorry, but I will have to deny your request to appoint Counsel to defend you in this case.

Put to trial before a jury, Gideon conducted his defense about as well as could be expected from a layman. Sincewhen Betts v. Since Gideon was proceeding in forma pauperis, we appointed counsel to represent him and requested both sides to discuss in their briefs and oral arguments the following: Betts was indicted for robbery in a Maryland state court.

On arraignment, he told the trial judge of his lack of funds to hire a lawyer and asked the court to appoint one for him. Betts was advised that it was not the practice in that county to appoint counsel for indigent defendants except in murder and rape cases.

A study on capital punishment and the eight amendment

He was found guilty by the judge, sitting without a jury, and sentenced to eight years in prison. Betts was denied any relief, and, on review, this Court affirmed. It was held that a refusal to appoint counsel for an indigent defendant charged with a felony did not necessarily violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which, for reasons given, the Court deemed to be the only applicable federal constitutional provision.

Asserted denial [of due process] is to be tested by an appraisal of the totality of facts in a given case. That which may, in one setting, constitute a denial of fundamental fairness, shocking to the universal sense of justice, may, in other circumstances, and in the light of other considerations, fall short of such denial.

Treating due process as "a concept less rigid and more fluid than those envisaged in other specific and particular provisions of the Bill of Rights," the Court held that refusal to appoint counsel under the particular facts and circumstances in the Betts case was not so "offensive to the common and fundamental ideas of fairness" as to amount to a denial of due process.

Since the facts and circumstances of the two cases are so nearly indistinguishable, we think the Betts v. Upon full reconsideration, we conclude that Betts v. Brady should be overruled. In response, the Court stated that, while the Sixth Amendment laid down no rule for the conduct of the States, the question recurs whether the constraint laid by the Amendment upon the national courts expresses a rule so fundamental and essential to a fair trial, and so, to due process of law, that it is made obligatory upon the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.

On the basis of this historical data, the Court concluded that "appointment of counsel is not a fundamental right, essential to a fair trial.

This same principle was recognized, explained, and applied in Powell v. In many cases other than Powell and Betts, this Court has looked to the fundamental nature of original Bill of Rights guarantees to decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment makes them obligatory on the States.

In so refusing, however, the Court, speaking through Mr. Justice Cardozo, was careful to emphasize that immunities that are valid as against the federal government by force of the specific pledges of particular amendments have been found to be implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, and thus, through the Fourteenth Amendment, become valid as against the states, and that guarantees "in their origin.

We accept Betts v. Ten years before Betts v. Brady, this Court, after full consideration of all the historical data examined in Betts, had unequivocally declared that "the right to the aid of [p] counsel is of this fundamental character. While the Court, at the close of its Powell opinion, did, by its language, as this Court frequently does, limit its holding to the particular facts and circumstances of that case, its conclusions about the fundamental nature of the right to counsel are unmistakable.

Several years later, inthe Court reemphasized what it had said about the fundamental nature of the right to counsel in this language: We concluded that certain fundamental rights, safeguarded by the first eight amendments against federal action, were also safeguarded against state action by the due process of law clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and among them the fundamental right of the accused to the aid of counsel in a criminal prosecution.

And again, inthis Court said: The Sixth Amendment stands as a constant admonition that, if the constitutional safeguards it provides be lost, justice will not "still be done.Explain the meaning of the Eighth Amendment.

How does the Eighth Amendment impact sentencing with regard to capital punishment? Compare and contrast the criteria for capital punishment. Include References. Find the best study resources around, tagged .

A study on capital punishment and the eight amendment

A variety of justifications for and against capital punishment has been advanced. Often the debates over these justifications become as heat.

Capital punishment, Crime - The Death Penalty And Punishment Penalty This type of punishment was also deemed unconstitutional under the 8th amendment. In the case of Furman v. Georgia () the death penalty was considered unusual if Studies have shown life in prison without the possibility without parole is cruel and unusual and.

The court found that the Eighth Amendment should be interpreted with “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society”. Now is the time to abolish the death penalty, especially before states continue to execute mentally ill inmates.

Ruling: Amendment 8, the "cruel and unusual" punishment amendment and how it applies to the States under the Eight Amendment. Application: The Supreme Court did an unusual thing by issuing a per curiam (FN1) opinion, on a vote to reverse the death sentences of the three defendants.

Is the death penalty unjust because it violates the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, "cruel and unusual punishment"? Or is it just a form of permissible capital punishment?

Gideon v. Wainwright | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute