Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. (1972)
On the night of August, 11, 1967, Mickie (the victim) awoke in the middle of the night to find Mr.Furman an African american man burgling his home.Furman fled the house, shooting the victim as he left, the bullet hit the victim in the chest and he died instantly.Furman was charge with murder, Furman testified, that while trying to escape, he tripped and the weapon he was carrying fired accidentally, killing the victim. Furman was a poor man, His court-appointed lawyer, his trial lasted just one day.the court committed Furman to the Georgia Central State Hospital for psychological examination.The hospital diagnosed Furman as being mentally deficient and subject to psychotic episodes. Nevertheless, the court denied Furman's insanity plea at trial. Furman faced the death penalty. This was despite the fact that Furman had testified that his shooting of Micke was accidental. because the shooting occurred during the commission of a felony, Furman would have been guilty of murder and eligible for the death penalty under state law. Furman was tried for murder and was found guilty based on his own statement, whether the defendant intended to kill the deceased or not. Furman filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme court, the justices voted to overturn Furman's conviction on the grounds that in his case the death penalty constituted cruel and unusual punishment. In America, the Court had already held that discriminatory enforcement of the law violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, if a death penalty statute was applied in a discriminatory manner, it was unfair and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. For Furman, the death penalty was unfair because there had not been enough protection for him at trial. He had gotten a quick one-day trial and he was African American, poor, uneducated, and mentally ill, [continues]
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