Above the Fray: Supreme Court Should Let Judges Keep a Hand in Who Gets Executed
Legal Times, Vol. 25, No. 5, February 4, 2002
2 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2002
In Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000), the Supreme Court held that any fact that increases a defendant's statutory maximum sentence must be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. This Term, in Ring v. Arizona, the Court will decide whether to extend Apprendi to ban capital sentencing by judges. This op-ed essay analyzes the Apprendi debate as a clash of the historical ideal of individualized justice by juries versus practical concerns about equality and efficiency. This essay supports the continuation of judicial capital sentencing, as it is a promising tool for combatting racial disparities in the death penalty.
Keywords: Apprendi, Ring, death penalty, capital punishment, race, sentencing, jury, criminal procedure
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation