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What Should Be the Future of the Death Penalty?

Thirty years after the Supreme Court decision Gregg v. Georgia effectively reinstated capital punishment in the United States, the national debate of whether to abolish, reform, maintain, or expand use of the death penalty continues to divide justices and judges, legislators and citizens. Kansas v. Marsh, the recent, bitterly divided, 5-4 Supreme Court decision upholding Kansas’ death penalty law, is but the latest example of these divisions.

Brookings continued its Judicial Issues Forum series with a discussion on whether the death penalty deters crime, whether it is administered fairly, whether death row exonerations prove the system a failure, whether federal courts should provide more-or less-supervision of state death sentences, and whether the abhorrence of our death penalty regime overseas should tip Americans of mixed views toward the abolitionist position.

Panelists included: Congressman Dan Lungren (R-Cal.), and former California Attorney General (1991-99); Ruth Friedman, director of the Federal Capital Habeas Project; Kent Scheidegger, legal director and general counsel at the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation; and Ginny Sloan, president and founder of the Constitution Project. Stuart Taylor, Jr., a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings and a writer for National Journal and Newsweek, moderated the panel.

Agenda

Moderator

Panelists

K

Kent Scheidegger

Legal Director and General Counsel, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

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