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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: 28 October 2021

The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in the Courts

The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in the Courts

Chapter 21 The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in the Courts
Imprisoned by the Past

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses death penalty developments in the U.S. Supreme Court during the early 2000s that have limited the modern death penalty. Although the Supreme Court’s decisions in Warren McCleskey’s cases revealed a failure in the court-based strategy to abolish the death penalty, capital defense lawyers continued to target narrower issues. The Supreme Court reversed course on a number of issues during this time period, including banning the execution of juveniles and defendants with intellectual disabilities. Although cases such as Roper v. Simmons and Atkins v. Virginia did not have the potential to end the death penalty as McCleskey v. Kemp did, they did limit the use of capital punishment as the new century began. Additionally, some judges around the country spoke out against capital punishment.

Keywords:   Supreme Court, death penalty, juveniles, intellectual disability, courts, capital punishment, judges, Roper v. Simmons, Atkins v. Virginia

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