• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative legal systems

Extracts from this document...


ORAL PRESENTATION Candice-Dionne Jordan 0507195 Module title: Comparative legal systems Module code: LA1850 25% overall module grade 1. In Furman v. Georgia 408 U.S. 238 (1972) the defendant Furman entered a home at night in an attempt to burgle it. During the attempt Furman was discovered by a member of the family, as he tried to leave the scene, he tripped and fell, which resulted in his firearm going off and the family member being shot through a closed door. Awaiting his trial Furman was committed to the Georgia State Hospital for a psychiatric examination, where the staff came to the conclusion that Mr Furman's mental deficiency was mild to moderate and he suffers psychotic episodes associated with convulsive disorder, however they stated at present Mr Furman knows right from wrong and is able to cooperate with counsel. Furman was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In Gregg v. Georgia 428 U.S. 153 (1976) the petitioner and a travelling companion Floyd Allen, while hitchhiking north in Florida were picked up by their victims Fred Simmons and Bob Moore, Simmons and Moore's car broke down but they purchased another with some cash they were carrying and continued north. ...read more.


Under the Eighth Amendment, a punishment is considered unconstitutionally imposed if it administered arbitrarily or discriminatorily. In Furman the court successfully nullified the existing death penalty statues of 39 states, commuted the sentences of over 600 death row inmates around the country and suspended the death penalty. However the Furman decision triggered a backlash of state legislation and within months states began enacting new statues that they thought would reduce arbitrariness in capital sentencing. To tackle the unconstitutionality of unguided jury discretion, some states removed all of that discretion by mandating capital punishment for those convicted of capital crimes. However this exercise was also held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Woodson v. North Carolina, as it did not allow for considerations of individual differences among defendants. Other states wanted to focus the jury's discretion by providing sentencing guidelines to direct the jury when deciding whether to impose the death penalty. Georgia provided bifurcated proceedings, in which guilt and sentencing are determined in separate trails. During the penalty phase the jury must find at least one aggravating circumstance beyond reasonable doubt before considering the evidence and making a decision between life or death. ...read more.


No longer can a Georgia jury do as Furman's jury did: reach a finding of the defendant's guilt and then, without guidance or direction, decide whether he should live or die. Instead, the jury's attention is directed to the specific circumstances of the crime. The petitioner also argued that two of the statutory aggravating circumstances were vague and therefore predisposed to contradictory interpretations, therefore creating a sizeable risk of the death penalty being arbitrarily inflicted by Georgia state juries. The Supreme Court of Georgia, however, has demonstrated that the new sentencing procedures do provide guidance to juries. Furthermore, the court was not prepared to overrule the Georgia legislature's, finding that capital punishment serves as a useful deterrent to future capital crimes and an appropriate means of social retribution against its most serious offenders when it is not arbitrarily applied. The Supreme Court granted the Gregg's application for Writ of certiorari and affirmed the conviction and the imposition of the death sentences for murder, however The Supreme Court did lift Gregg's death sentence for armed robbery on the grounds that a death penalty has rarely been imposed in Georgia for that particular offence and found that the jury had improperly considered the murders as aggravating circumstances for the robberies after having considered the armed robbery as aggravating circumstances for murder. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Capital Punishment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Capital Punishment essays

  1. Outline the basic principles of sentencing

    Prison, location where convicted criminals and people awaiting trial are confined, is a combination of deterrence, retribution and rehabilitation. This means that a prisoner is being detained for a period of time while he is suffering from being limited and banned from having some sort of things, including freedom.

  2. Our aim of for both questions is to explore the guilty conduct required of ...

    likely to subject the victim to at least the risk of some harm resulting from it, albeit not a serious one".2 As a defense, this was an act performed for the purpose of self-preservation, being of course itself an act caused by Aisha's own actions.

  1. One famous trial held in Co. Clare, reported in the Dublin Evening Post in ...

    Punishments ranged from standing in the pillory to branding and whipping to burning (for particularly shameful crimes, like treason). A number of 18th century theorists believed hanging was not punishment enough for felons and proposed, "breaking on the wheel" instead.

  2. How Changes Are Being Considered In The Coroners Court.

    Much of the work done and the changes made to the system have been based on reports that have highlighted the loopholes in the system: > The Government commissioned independent fundamental review of coroner and death certification systems, chaired by Tom Luce (DOH).

  1. Analyse the philosophical principles of at least one ethical theory and evaluate its application ...

    There would be, then, the possibility that the death penalty could be an appropriate punishment under some circumstances. From this jumping-off point, it is possible to analyse the death penalty from a utilitarian perspective. This perspective does not exclude a principled objection to the death penalty.

  2. Is an eye for an eye a legal remedy in the 21st century?

    Even though the unmoral act of punishment provides a sense of security in their country scientific study has show that it is not a deterrent to crime. Due to the differing statements quoted in the same book, the bible provides abolitionist and retentionist to use the bible to their advantage in the measures of punishment.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work