The case of Georgia vs Gregg Essay Sample
- Word count: 1009
- Category: court
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The case of Georgia vs Gregg Essay Sample
In the case of Georgia vs Gregg, a jury found the defendant guilty of both armed robbery and murder. After robbing and killing two men, Gregg was tried, heard and convicted on two counts of murder and armed robbery. During the penalty stage that followed the trial, a judge found fair reasoning to recommend to the jury the option of either a death sentence or a lifelong prison sentence on each of the two counts.
The judge concluded that in this particular case, there were extenuating circumstances that showed the murder was found without a reasonable doubt, was cruel and inhumane to the victims and that the petitioner was also in commission of another capital violation (armed robbery alongside murder) therefore leading to the recommended sentence. Gregg was found guilty of two counts of armed robbery and murder by a jury trial and resulted in the death penalty being the capital punishment for these particular crimes.
The jury upheld the death penalty sentencing for the murder charges, but dismissed the death penalty as punishment for the armed robbery charges. Gregg was given the death sentence as his penalty for each count of murder (two in this case). After Gregg petitioned to consider the case sent to the Supreme Court for a certiorari, it was granted. Gregg argued the death sentence was a violation of the 8th and 14th amendments and that that capital punishment was “cruel and unusual punishment” violating the 8th amendment. This case was brought up to the Supreme Court to be heard.
ISSUE: Whether imposing the death sentence, in this case, caused a violation of the 8th and 14th Amendment for cruel and unusual punishment?
HOLDING: Simply put, no. The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for the double murder committed in this case was not cruel and unusual. The punishment was found to be proper and fairly tried based on the crimes committed, and the sentence that was being sought. In this particular case, the punishment of death does not directly violate the constitution, being that the case itself is a murder case.
RATIONALE: Capital punishment is constitutional as long as it does not violate the 8th Amendment.In this case, the procedures involved in the decision for the death sentence (capital punishment) followed proper legal procedure. The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was not a “per se” violation of the 8th amendment. The punishment in this case, did not violate what the amendment protects, the ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The jury sought forth the death penalty due to the obscene nature of this particular crime (double murder alongside armed robbery, but the death sentence was NOT sought after in this case for the robbery charges but for the murder charges only).
The Supreme Court ruled that the procedural aspects were justified and carried out appropriate based on the nature of the crimes being tried. And that the punishment itself, the death sentence, did not violate the amendments for the type of crime the petitioner committed. After Gregg’s appeal had been denied, he was found guilty of double murder and without violating the protections of the 8th amendment, his punishment was the death sentence (which was scheduled for July 1990 but he passed before then).
RULING: The death penalty does not violate the 8th and 14th Amendments automatic. If a jury keeps within legal standards of sentencing and the crime is tried judiciously and carefully in a legal court system, then it does not automatically violate the amendment rights. The Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is not “cruel and unusual punishment” but the proceeding must meet certain aspects found by each states legislative guidelines. These rules must be outlined for a jury, and implement how the death sentence can be used as to not violate the 8th amendment.
IMPACT: The Georgia vs Gregg case had an impact on the Supreme Court’s capital punishment ruling. This case helped clarify that the death penalty (capital punishment) is constitutional as long as the charges brought on by the conviction and the judicial proceedings do not violate the 8th amendment and in this case, the death penalty does not automatically violate. The penalty cannot be “excessive” and cannot be completely inappropriate for the severity of the crimes, and in this case, the crime itself was murder.
The main impact was that the state of Georgia’s decision on capital punishment was constitutional as long as the procedures involved in the decision of the case didn’t violate the constitution (and the crime being tried was a severe crime in itself and that the penalty was not excessive in comparison to the crime committed) and in response, 35 of the state’s legislatures changed their death penalty statute, so that their states procedures could carefully and judiciously help aid in a jury reaching a decision on the death penalty following this case.Gregg was the first individual whose death sentence was upheld in court.
MY VIEWS: The death sentence is widely accepted by most of the 50 states and its purpose are to apply an extreme punishment based on an extreme crime and in this case, murder. In my view, I fully support the punishment for this crime and believe that Gregg should not have sought “refuge” in the 8th and 14th amendments. This particular case hits the nail on the head for me, Gregg committed an extreme crime and should be punished with the same level of extremity.
I solely believe in the biblical terms of “an eye for an eye” and feel that it is only fair that in cases such as this, where the violator was found guilty of committing a double murder, one should only have the same punishment in return. If you murder someone, I do feel that it is only just and fair to have the same punishment for the crime that you, oneself committed be an option. In Georgia vs Gregg, death for death was a justified punishment in my eyes. This case does not violate my sense of justice and I do not feel that it could have been better decided.