• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Acclaimed by researchers, students, and general readers, this informative, lively, and easy-to-use volume fills the public need for information about key recent and historical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Now significantly updated, this new edition includes all the new major cases-over twenty five in total-handed down by the Court since the first edition was published in 2000. The new entries include many high-profile cases that have stirred public controversy, including: Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), granting the right to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions in the Boy Scouts; Bush v. Gore (2000), ceasing ballot recounts in the 2000 presidential election; PGA Tour v. Martin (2001), obliging the PGA to accommodate a disabled golfer; Lawrence v. Texas (2003), stating that a law criminalizing same-sex sodomy violates due process; Gratz/Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), stating that an affirmative action program to achieve diversity in universities may or may not violate the equal protection clause, depending on how it's implemented. In each of the over 100 cases summarized, author Tony Mauro succinctly describes the decision, provides background and facts of the case, the vote and highlights of the decision with verbatim excerpts, and, in conclusion, discusses the long-term impact of the decision on United States citizens and U.S. society. Topic search aids let readers easily trace the evolution and impact of rulings in particular issue areas. Added features also enhance the volume, including many new portraits, political cartoons, and drawings, a comprehensive bibliography and an easy-to-access case/subject index. A perfect starting point for research on Supreme Court decisions, this newly updated volume is an essential addition to every public, high school, and college library.

Furman v. Georgia
Furman v. Georgia

Decided June 29, 1972

408 U.S. 238

http://laws.findlaw.com/US/408/238.html

Decision

Capital punishment, as it is imposed and carried out, violates the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishments.

Background

The death penalty has been part of the U.S. justice system since the earliest days. The First Congress in 1790 made murder, forgery, robbery, and rape punishable by death. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution presumed the death penalty's existence by guaranteeing due process of law before a criminal defendant could be deprived “of life or limb.”

But that history has not prevented capital punishment from being a constitutional flashpoint in the Supreme Court's history. The primary reason is the Eighth Amendment, which says that “cruel and unusual punishments” shall not be inflicted. Unlike other ...

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