June 29 - 1972 - The Supreme Court Decides Furman v. Georgia

Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), is one of the more mind-bending Supreme Court cases. Not only did it consider a number of different death penalty cases, with different circumstances, but Furman v. Georgia actually had nine opinions, one each from every Justice. 4 of them argued the death penalty was Constitutional, 3 of them said it was unconstitutional as it was then enacted, and 2 said that the death penalty was always "cruel and unusual punishment" as outlawed by the Constitution. While that meant a brief moratorium was imposed, it would be overturned in four years' time, and what Furman really launched was the weirdly detailed debate over capital punishment found to this day.

William Floyd