Uncertain Status of Capital Punishment
Attempts to Overcome Court's Death Penalty Ban
The death penalty seemed dead on June 29, 1972, when the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that capital punishment as it was imposed in this country violated the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.1 But now, months later, the death penalty has begun to stage a comeback. The Florida legislature met late in the year and rewrote the state's capital punishment law in an attempt to make the death penalty withstand court challenges. Lawmakers in several other states are expected to follow the Florida example; legislatures in 49 of the 50 states, all except Kentucky, have regularly scheduled sessions in 1973. And at the national level, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst said ...