1932

Abstract

Since 1972, the Supreme Court has experimented with regulation of the death penalty, seeking the illusive goals of consistency, reliability, and fairness. In this century, the court held that the Sixth Amendment prohibited judges from making findings necessary to impose a death sentence. Separately, the court held that the Eighth Amendment safeguarded evolving standards of decency as measured by national consensus. In this article, we discuss the role of judges in death determinations, identifying jurisdictions that initially (post 1972) allowed judge sentencing and naming the individuals who today remain under judge-imposed death sentences. The decisions guaranteeing a jury determination have so far been applied only to cases that have not undergone initial review in state courts. Key questions remain unresolved, including whether the evolving standards of decency permit the execution of more than 100 individuals who were condemned to death by judges without a jury's death verdict before implementation of the rules that now require unanimous jury votes.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042834
2019-10-13
2024-04-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/lawsocsci/15/1/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042834.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042834&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Adams J. 1797. A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States Philadelphia: William Cobbett
  2. Adelson J, Russell G, Simerman J 2018. How an abnormal Louisiana law deprives, discriminates and drives incarceration: tilting the scales. The Advocate Apr. 1. http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/courts/article_16fd0ece-32b1-11e8-8770-33eca2a325de.html
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Aiello T. 2015. Jim Crow's Last Stand: Nonunanimous Criminal Jury Verdicts in Louisiana Baton Rouge: LSU Press
  4. [Google Scholar]
  5. Apodaca v. Oregon 406 U.S. 404 1972.
  6. Asay v. State 210 So.3d 1 2016.
  7. Atkins v. Virginia 536 U.S. 304 2002.
  8. Baldus D, Woodworth G, Grosso C, Christ A 2002. The Nebraska Death Penalty Study: an interdisciplinary symposium: arbitrariness and discrimination in the administration of the death penalty: a legal and empirical analysis of the Nebraska experience (1973–1999). Neb. Law Rev. 81:2486–756
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Baze v. Rees 553 U.S. 35 2008.
  10. Bottoson v. Moore 833 So.2d 693 2002.
  11. Bowers W, Foglia W, Giles J, Antonio M 2006. The decision maker matters: an empirical examination of the way the role of the judge and the jury influence death penalty decision-making. Wash. Lee Law Rev. 63:3931–1010
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Brooks v. Alabama 136 S.Ct. 708 2016.
  13. Callins v. Collins 510 U.S. 1141 1994.
  14. Cohen GB, Smith RJ. 2008. The death of death-qualification. Case West. Reserve Law Rev. 59:187–124
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Coker v. Georgia 433 U.S. 584 1977.
  16. Crain v. Florida 203 L.Ed. 2d 140 (1/22/ 2019.
  17. Death Penal. Inf. Cent 2018. Life Sentence or Hung Jury? How States Treat Non-Unanimous Jury Votes in Capital-Sentencing Proceedings, as of January 17, 2018 Washington, DC: Death Penal. Inf. Cent https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/6924
  18. Death Penal. Inf. Cent 2019a. States with and without the Death Penalty, as of March 1, 2019 Washington, DC: Death Penal. Inf. Cent https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/states-and-without-death-penalty
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Death Penal. Inf. Cent 2019b. Death Penalty Information by State Washington, DC: Death Penal. Inf. Cent https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/state-info-link
  20. Death Penal. Inf. Cent 2019c. Executions in the U.S. 1608–2002: the ESPY file: executions by state Doc., Death Penal. Inf. Cent Washington, DC: https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/ESPYstate.pdf
  21. Devine D. 2012. Jury Decision Making: The State of the Science New York: NYU Press
  22. Duncan v. Louisiana 391 U.S. 145 1968.
  23. Eaton AM. 1899. The suffrage clause in the new constitution of Louisiana. Harvard Law Rev 13:4279–93
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Ehrhardt CW, Levinson LH. 1973. Florida's legislative response to Furman: An exercise in futility. J. Crim. Law Criminol. 64:110–21
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Equal Justice Initiat 2016. Alabama Prisoners Executed Despite Jury Verdicts Rejecting the Death Penalty Montgomery, AL: Equal Justice Initiat https://eji.org/sites/default/files/alabama-override-executions-dec-2016.pdf
  26. Equal Justice Initiat 2018. Alabama Overrides from Life to Death Montgomery, AL: Equal Justice Initiat https://eji.org/sites/default/files/list-alabama-override-cases.pdf
  27. Faulk K. 2017. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill: Judges can no longer override juries in death penalty cases. Birmingham News Apr. 11. https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/04/post_317.html
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Frampton T. 2018. The Jim Crow jury. Vanderbilt Law Rev 71:51593–654
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Furman v. Georgia 408 U.S. 238 1972.
  30. Glossip v. Gross 135 S.Ct. 2726 2015.
  31. Graham v. Florida 560 U.S. 48 2010.
  32. Gregg v. Georgia 428 U.S. 153 1976.
  33. Hall v. Florida 134 S.Ct 1986. 2014.
  34. Hall v. Florida 203 L.Ed. 2d 257 (2/19 / 2019.
  35. Hamilton A. 2008 (1787). The Federalist Papers: No. 1. New Haven, CT: Avalon Proj. Yale Law Sch: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed01.asp
  36. Hans V, Blume H, Eisenberg T, Hritz A, Johnson S et al. 2015. The death penalty: Should the judge or the jury decide who dies. J. Empir. Leg. Stud. 12:170–99
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Harris v. Alabama 513 U.S. 504 1995.
  38. Hastie R, Penrod SI, Pennington N 1983. Inside the Jury Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press
  39. Hildwin v. Florida 490 U.S. 638 1989.
  40. Hoeffel JC. 2017. Death beyond a reasonable doubt. Ark. Law Rev. 70:2267–307
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Hunter v. Underwood 471 U.S. 222 1985.
  42. Hurst v. Florida 136 S.Ct 616 2016.
  43. Hurst v. State 202 So.3d 40 (Fla 2016.
  44. Iyengar R. 2011. Who's the fairest in the land? Analysis of judge and jury death penalty decisions. J. Law Econ. 54:3693–722
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Johnson v. Louisiana 406 U.S. 356 1972.
  46. Johnson S, Blume J, Eisenberg T, Hans V, Wells M 2011. The Delaware death penalty: an empirical study. Iowa Law Rev 97:1925–64
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Jones v. United States 526 U.S. 227 1999.
  48. Jurek v. Texas 428 U.S. 262 1976.
  49. Kaczmar v. Florida 138 S.Ct 1973. 2018.
  50. Kaplan AB, Saack A. 2016. Overturning Apodacav. Oregon should be easy: Nonunanimous verdicts in criminal cases undermine the credibility of our justice system. Or. Law Rev. 95:11–52
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Kennedy v. Louisiana 554 U.S. 407 2008.
  52. Louisiana v. United States 380 U.S. 145 1965.
  53. Mandery EJ. 2013. A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America New York: W.W. Norton
  54. Marshall v. Jones 138 S.Ct 2677 2018.
  55. McDonald v. City of Chicago 561 U.S 742 2010.
  56. Meltsner M. 1973. Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment New York: Random House
  57. Proffitt v. Florida 428 U.S. 242 1976.
  58. Radelet ML. 1985. Rejecting the jury: the imposition of the death penalty in Florida. Univ. Calif. Davis Law Rev. 18:41409–31
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Radelet ML 2011. Overriding jury sentencing recommendations in Florida capital cases: an update and possible half-requiem. Mich. State Law Rev 2011. 3:793–857
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Radelet ML, Cohen GB. 2017. The predictable disarray: ignoring the jury in Florida death penalty cases. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2906342
  61. Radelet ML, Mello M. 1992. Death-to-life overrides: saving the resources of the Florida Supreme Court. Fla. State Univ. Law Rev. 20:1195–228
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Ramos v. Louisiana 203 L.Ed. 2d 563 2019.
  63. Rauf v. State 145 A.3d 430 (Del 2016.
  64. Reuters. 2017. Florida tightens death penalty law to require unanimous jury recommendation. Reuters Mar. 13. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-execution-law-idUSKBN16L07F
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Reynolds v. Florida 586 U.S. 2018.
  66. Ring v. Arizona 536 U.S. 584 2002.
  67. Roberts v. Louisiana 428 U.S. 325 1976.
  68. Roper v. Simmons 543 U.S. 551 2005.
  69. Russell G, Simerman J. 2018. Hillar Moore, other Louisiana DAs declare support to change unanimous jury law. The Advocate Oct. 17. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_d656730c-d20a-11e8-9036-cfd509895b09.html
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Schriro v. Summerlin 542 U.S. 348 2004.
  71. Simerman J, Russell G. 2018. Louisiana voters scrap Jim Crow-era split jury law; unanimous verdicts to be required. The Advocate Nov. 6. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/elections/article_194bd5ca-e1d9-11e8-996b-eb8937ebf6b7.html
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Slobogin C. 2009. The death penalty in Florida. Elon Law Rev 1:17–63
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Smith R, Sarma B, Cull S 2014. The way the court gauges consensus (and how to do it better). Cardozo Law Rev 35:62396–452
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Spaziano v. Florida 468 U.S. 447 1984.
  75. Sperlich P. 1984. The court, the jury, and the facts: Hastie et al.’s “Inside the Jury. Am. Bar Found. Res. J. 9:3705–21
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Sullivan F. 2016. A look back: developing Indiana law post-bench reflections of an Indiana supreme court justice: selected developments in Indiana criminal sentencing and death penalty law (1993–2012). Indiana Law Rev 49:41349–80
    [Google Scholar]
  77. Taylor-Thompson K. 2000. Empty votes in jury deliberations. Harvard Law Rev 113:71261–360
    [Google Scholar]
  78. Trop v. Dulles 356 U.S. 86 1958.
  79. Walton v. Arizona 497 U.S. 639 1990.
  80. Wilson J. 1804. Works of the Honourable James Wilson Philadelphia: Lorenzo
  81. Witherspoon v. Illinois 391 U.S. 510 1968.
  82. Woodson v. North Carolina 428 U.S. 280 1976.
  83. Woodward v. Alabama 571 U.S. 1045 2013.
  84. Wroth LK, Zobel HB. 1965. Legal Papers of John Adams Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press/Harvard Univ. Press
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042834
Loading
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-101518-042834
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error