The Nation: Death Again

Since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972 handed down its 5-to-4 ruling that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment ("In the same way that being struck by lightning is cruel and unusual," struck wrote by Justice Potter Stewart), 22 states have redrafted execution laws. It was only a matter of time before the Federal Government got around to a similar resuscitation. Last week the Senate passed, 54 to 33, a measure restoring the death penalty for certain federal crimes. If the bill passes in the House, which seems certain, capital punishment could be imposed for treason, espionage or...

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