× The Vanderbilt Television News Archive is currently closed to in-person research, but is still fulfilling loan requests. For the latest information about COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), visit vu.edu/coronavirus.
Search the Archive

Death Penalty #21279

ABC Evening News for Thursday, Jun 29, 1972
View other clips in this broadcast →

Material supplied by VTNA may be used for educational analysis or research only. Any editing, reproduction, publication, rebroadcast, public showing or public display may be prohibited by copyright laws.

(Studio) Supreme Court rules death penalty unconstitutional; spares lives of 600 men in death row cells across nation
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith

(Supreme Court) Vote is 5 to 4 against death penalty. Justices Brenman and and Marshall say it is cruel and unusual punishment, and would prohibit it entirely. Douglas says it has been imposed disproportionately on minority groups. Stewart says it has been applied in wanton and freakish manner. White says death penalty fails to meet need for retribution. If states adopt better standards for death penalty, it might be proper for certain crimes; at present it is illegal in US. 4 Nixon appointees, Burger, Blackman, Rehnquist, and Powell, vote to uphold death penalty.
REPORTER: Herbert Kaplow

(Studio) 39 states and Washington, DC still endorsed death penalty when courts ruled. Supreme Court rules on 3 test cases: 2 rape and 1 murder.
REPORTER: Howard K. Smith

(Milledgeville, Georgia) Convicted of burglary murder in Savannah, Georgia, 29 year old William Furman sentenced to die 5 years ago. He has undergone treatment for tuberculosis. [FURMAN - describes relief on learning about abolition of death penalty in Supreme Court decision on his case.] REPORTER: David Snell

(Angola, LA) 46 men on Louisiana State Prison death row, all charged with murder or rape. [Wilbur FREZALL - says death row inmates didn't believe it when they heard radio broadcast announcing abolition of death penalty. Describes living under constant fear of execution.] [Bobby MCALLISTER - surprised and happy at news.] [Parnell SMITH - has lived under threat of death so long he can't be overly happy about decision.] [George SQUARE - says prospect of life in prison beats death penalty.]
REPORTER: Bob Krieger

Kaplow, Herbert;
Krieger, Bob;
Smith, Howard K.

Note to sponsor members: The Vanderbilt Television News Archive video player requires a modern operating system and browser to work properly. If you are experiencing playback problems, check the minimum requirements and adjust your setup accordingly. After adjustments, if you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

Welcome! Above is the abstract of the item that you're interested in viewing from the Vanderbilt Television News Archive's collection. You have three options if you'd like to view this item:

  • You may request a loan of this video by registering on our website and placing an order.
  • You may visit the Television News Archive on the Vanderbilt campus to view on-site from the Archive's collection.
  • If you are associated with a college or university, you may ask your library if they would like to become a sponsor, which would give students and faculty at your institution the ability to view items from our collection.

If you believe that you are associated with a sponsoring college or university and have received this message in error, please let us know.