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Death Penalty #464821

NBC Evening News for Thursday, Jun 29, 1972
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(Studio) Supreme Court rules 5 to 4 that death penalty is illegal in form in which it is general used today. As it was applied in 3 test cases, court says death penalty constituted cruel and unusual punishment, violating 8th and 14th amendments to Constitution. Decision has immediate effect on lives of 600 men awaiting execution in 31 states.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Reidsville, Georgia) No one has been executed at Georgia state prison in 8 years, but 32 men on death row, 3/4 black. Georgia prison director Ellis McDougal had ordered men moved from chambers near electric chair, however, calling it cruel and unusual punishment to house them there. One test case ruled on by Supreme Court involved Lucious Jackson, Junior, 25-years old, convicted of rape 4 years ago. [JACKSON - happy with court decision.] Since 1924, 400 have died in Georgia electric chair for various crimes.

(Studio) Justices Brennan, Douglas, Marshall, Stewart, White vote against death penalty; Burger, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist vote for it. Some time in future, death penalty could be legal.
REPORTER: John Chancellor

(Supreme Court) Only 2 of 5 Justice majority said state could never take a life. 2 Justices oppose freakish application of penalty, thus loss of power as deterrent.
REPORTER: Carl Stern

Chancellor, John;
Stern, Carl

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