World Day against the Death Penalty to cast spotlight on USA: A learning curve, towards a 'more perfect world'

Report
October 8, 2010

World Day against the Death Penalty to cast spotlight on USA: A learning curve, towards a 'more perfect world'

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT, 1 EASTON STREET, LONDON WC1X 0DW, UNITED KINGDOM

 

1 The State v. T Makwanyane and M Mchunu, 6 June 1995, finding the death penalty unconstitutional.

2 The graph is illustrative only, and not an accurate depiction of the timing of abolition by individual countries. For dates in recent decades see http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/abolitionist-and-retentionist-countries

3 Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153, 2 July 1976.

4 Baze v. Rees, 16 April 2008, Justice Stevens concurring in the judgment.

5 See Justice Stevens: An open mind on a changed court, NPR, 4 October 2010, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130198344.

6 Callins v. Collins, Justice Blackmun dissenting against the denial of certiorari.

7 Justice Powell was asked in 1991 by his biographer if he would change his vote in any case.  He said, "Yes, McCleskey v. Kemp." (1987, on racial discrimination and the death penalty, see Death by discrimination - the continuing role of race in capital cases, April 2003, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/046/2003/en).  He went on to say, "I would vote the other way in any capital case." Even in Furman v. Georgia, his biographer asked. "Yes" and "I have come to think that capital punishment should be abolished." See J. Jeffries, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., page 451 (Scribners 1994).

8 Report of the Council to the Membership of The American Law Institute on the matter of the death penalty, 15 April 2009.