In this edition of our monthly newsletter, you’ll find observations on the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Gregg v. Georgia, as well as a recap of important death penalty developments in the last month. You’ll also find information about scheduled executions and a new report on America’s deadliest prosecutors.
A new report from Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project identifies America’s five deadliest head prosecutors out of the thousands that have held that office in the last 40 years. It specifically names Johnny Holmes, who served as the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas from 1979 to 2000; during his tenure, his office secured at least 200 death sentences. Since 2008, by contrast, Harris County juries have sent an average of one person to death row each year.
Today, June 29, 2012, marks 40 years since the United States Supreme Court overturned all existing death penalty laws, ruling in the case of Furman vs. Georgia (1972) that the death penalty system, as it was being administered, was arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory. At the time, Justice Potter Stewart said death sentences were as cruel […]
July 2 marked the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Gregg v. Georgia (1976), which upheld the newly crafted death penalty statutes of several states (including that of Texas) and paved the way for the resumption of executions. Just four years earlier, the Court had ruled in Furman v. Georgia (1972) that the death […]