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Imprisoned by the PastWarren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty$
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Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199967933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967933.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Mitigation and Reform

Mitigation and Reform

Chapter 14 Mitigation and Reform
Imprisoned by the Past

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses life on death row for Warren McCleskey and his friend Billy Moore, while also recounting the role of mitigating factors and clemency in capital cases. The Supreme Court has discussed deterrence and retribution as philosophical justifications for punishment, and the Court reasoned in Lockett v. Ohio that the Constitution requires courts to assess in mitigation an individual defendant’s culpability and background. Thus, defense attorneys ask sentencing juries to consider the person’s entire life. Similarly, governors and clemency boards evaluate the condemned’s life. As Warren McCleskey’s execution neared, his attorneys hoped Georgia officials would consider aspects of McCleskey’s life that his jury did not know about.

Keywords:   mitigating factors, reform, clemency, Billy Moore, Warren McCleskey, Lockett v. Ohio, mitigation, deterrence, retribution

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