Academic Year 2012-2013

Event Title

‘Excessive,’ ‘Unnecessary,’ and ‘Shocking to [the] Conscience’: Thurgood Marshall’s Unending Fight Against the Death Penalty

Location

Alvin Sherman Library, Second Floor Gallery

Start Date

18-10-2012 12:00 PM

End Date

18-10-2012 1:00 PM

Disciplines

African American Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity

Description

Thurgood Marshall opposed the death penalty. As the only Supreme Court justice to have litigated a death-penalty case, Marshall knew firsthand the “extraordinary unfairness that ... surrounds the administration of the death penalty.” This knowledge made Marshall a dedicated foe of capital punishment. Whether in the majority or (more often) in dissent, Marshall consistently ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. For Marshall, the matter was clear-cut and obvious: the death penalty was “an excessive and unnecessary punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment.” This talk will explore Marshall’s death penalty jurisprudence, describing his unsuccessful 20-year fight to end capital punishment in America.

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Oct 18th, 12:00 PM Oct 18th, 1:00 PM

‘Excessive,’ ‘Unnecessary,’ and ‘Shocking to [the] Conscience’: Thurgood Marshall’s Unending Fight Against the Death Penalty

Alvin Sherman Library, Second Floor Gallery

Thurgood Marshall opposed the death penalty. As the only Supreme Court justice to have litigated a death-penalty case, Marshall knew firsthand the “extraordinary unfairness that ... surrounds the administration of the death penalty.” This knowledge made Marshall a dedicated foe of capital punishment. Whether in the majority or (more often) in dissent, Marshall consistently ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. For Marshall, the matter was clear-cut and obvious: the death penalty was “an excessive and unnecessary punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment.” This talk will explore Marshall’s death penalty jurisprudence, describing his unsuccessful 20-year fight to end capital punishment in America.