The Requirement of Death: Mandatory Language in the Pennsylvania Death Penalty Statute
56 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2011
Date Written: Fall 1982
American death penalty statutes in the post-Gregg v. Georgia era can be divided into two types, mandatory and permissive. All American death penalty statutes guide the sentencer’s discretion in various ways. But upon the satisfaction of the conditions for imposing the death penalty the sentence in some states is required to return a sentence of death, whereas in other states the sentence is always permitted to return a sentence of life imprisonment. This article compares mandatory and permissive approaches and examines the constitutionality of one mandatory death penalty statute, that of Pennsylvania. For purposes of comparison, this article will also refer to the George death penalty statute, the death penalty sentencing system most often considered by the United States Supreme Court.
Keywords: death penalty statutes, mandatory sentencing
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