In Booth v. Maryland,1 the United States Supreme Court decided
that evidence relating to a victim's character and the extent of harm
caused to the victim's family and community was inadmissible to deter-
mine whether a defendant convicted of a capital crime should be put to
death. The majority in Booth, while empathizing with the grief of a
victim's family, recognized the potential danger such evidence has on a
jury to sentence defendants to death based on such arbitrary factors as
what kind of person the victim was and the unforeseeable harm the
victim's death had on others.
Koller, Michael P.
"Payne v. Tennessee: The Arbitrary Imposition of the Death Penalty and a Review of Florida Case Law Since: Booth v. Maryland,"
Nova Law Review: Vol. 16
, Article 13.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/nlr/vol16/iss3/13