Capital Punishment On Trial: Furman V. Georgia And The Death Penalty In Modern America (Landmark Law Cases And American Society) (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

Capital Punishment On Trial: Furman V. Georgia And The Death Penalty In Modern America (Landmark Law Cases And American Society) (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

Capital Punishment on Trial: Furman v. Georgia and the Death Penalty in Modern America (Landmark Law Cases and American Society) (Landmark Law Cases & American Society)

In his first book since the Pulitzer Prize-winning Polio: An American Story, renowned historian David Oshinsky takes a new and closer look at the Supreme Court's controversial and much-debated stances on capital punishment-in the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia.

Career criminal William Furman shot and killed a homeowner during a 1967 burglary in Savannah, Georgia. Because it was a "black-on-white" crime in the racially troubled South, it also was an open-and-shut case. The trial took less than a day, and the nearly all-white jury rendered a death sentence. Aided by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, Furman's African-American attorney, Bobby Mayfield, doggedly appealed the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1972 overturned Furman's sentence by a narrow 5-4 vote, ruling that Georgia's capital punishment statute, and by implication all other state death-penalty laws, was so arbitrary and capricious as to violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment."

Furman effectively, if temporarily, halted capital punishment in the United States. Every death row inmate across the nation was resentenced...

Related Books