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In 1972, after finding that Capital Punishment was used in an arbitrary manner and violated the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court imposed a nation-wide moratorium. Four years later, after the Gregg v. Georgia ruling which found Georgia's new death penalty status to be constitutional, most of the states which previously imposed capital punishment, reinstated it. The author argues that in its present form of administration, capital punishment is still applied in an arbitrary manner and violates the 'Equal Protection' and 'Due Process' clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Inadequate indigent defense and widespread racial bias in the prosecution and sentencing process, are examples of constitutional violations. In addition, the high degree of public support for the sentence has led to its politicization, further undermining any possibility of fairness in the sentencing process.
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av Michael Connelly