Un candide à sa fenêtre. Dégagements II by Régis Debray

Social Science

By Régis Debray

Je ne prise guère l. a. littérature d’idées. Ses angles droits sont trop fastidieusement masculins et sûrs d’eux pour capter l’émotion, le tremblement, l’inattendu du réel. Pourquoi récidiver ? Parce qu’on résiste moins, avec l’âge, aux impulsions du farfelu, jusqu’à se permettre quelques divagations sur les dieux et les hommes, le beau et le moche, le mort et le vif, et même sur l’avenir de l’humanité. Sans dramatiser : les échappées qui suivent sont à un essai ce qu’une flânerie est à un défilé, ou des songeries sont à un traité de morale. Elles demandent seulement au lecteur un peu d’indulgence pour ce qu’elles peuvent avoir de mélancolique, de cocasse ou d’injuste. R. D.

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Sample text

Even assuming that rational people could conclude that the death sentence is the maximum deterrent with the minimum unnecessary cruelty—death in the electric chair—even assuming we’re dealing with somebody who is not capable of being rehabilitated . . even assuming that rational people can conclude that this punishment under these circumstances is the most efficient and the most inexpensive and the most—and that ensures the most complete isolation 46 Furman v. Georgia of the convicted man from ever getting back into society—even assuming all of those things, which are the basic arguments made by your brothers and sisters on the other side, you say it is still [unconstitutional under] the Eighth Amendment?

At this point, there was nothing to do but wait. The lawyers on both sides had compiled their briefs and presented their cases. Now it was up to the nine Supreme Court justices to decide the fate of William Henry Furman and about 600 other death-row inmates locked in prisons across the nation. The Historic Opinion O 4 n June 29, 1972, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Furman v. Georgia. It had been more than five months since Anthony Amsterdam and Dorothy T. Beasley presented their oral arguments to the Court.

They had found William Henry Furman guilty of murder. As for the penalty, they could have chosen life in prison or death. They chose death. APPEAL TO THE GEORGIA SUPREME COURT Immediately after Furman was found guilty and given the death sentence, B. Clarence Mayfield began working on his client’s next steps. Georgia Harrison. This request was quickly refused, so Mayfield filed an appeal with the next highest court, the Georgia State Supreme Court, which agreed to review the case. Mayfield based the appeal on the following four key legal arguments: 1.

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