Nova Law Review


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.

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