Domino effect | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Domino effect 

The 30th anniversary of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the death penalty came and went this weekend, amid swirling headlines about two recent high court decisions that opponents of capital punishment say could prove just as important.

Thirty years ago on June 29, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Furman v. Georgia that declared the death penalty to be "cruel and unusual"--and unconstitutional. That ruling forced states to rewrite their capital punishment laws.

On June 20 of this year, the high court struck down the execution of people with mental retardation. The justices were influenced by the number of states that have banned executions of the mentally retarded--30 states in all, including North Carolina. The court also ruled that juries should make findings of fact in death sentencing, not judges.

Just days after those rulings, New York City became the 73rd municipality nationwide to call for a moratorium on executions while concerns about fairness are studied. The governors of Maryland and Illinois have already imposed a ban on executions in their states amid questions about racial and geographic bias in death penalty cases. In North Carolina, 19 local governments have signed resolutions supporting a moratorium--among them, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough and Orange County.

Is there a domino effect underway? "No matter how you look at it, our death penalty system is a gross failure and more and more people recognize that fact," says Stephen Dear, executive director of Chapel Hill-based People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.

A complete list of moratorium bills and resolutions is available at http://www.quixote.org/ej.

Latest in Front Porch

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

  1. Sunday Service (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Smoked Out (Letters to the Editor)

Most Recent Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation