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University of Baltimore Law Review

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Abstract

There is a compelling need to review the Supreme Court's position regarding capital punishment, in light of a growing national trend in the courts, as well as the state legislatures, away from the death penalty as an acceptable mode of punishment for the convicted felon. Five crucial issues are recognizable: First, has the Supreme Court by prolonged implication of silence recognized that capital punishment is not violative of the eighth amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment? Second, why has the Supreme Court remained silent during this period while a growing number of cases have been appealed in those states where capital punishment is the established law? Third, what of the hundreds ofcondemned felons who hope for Supreme Court review of the issue of wbetber the death penalty is cruel and unusualpunishment? Fourth, what will be the implications of the congressional review which is currently taking place? Fifth, can the legislatures of the various states formulate law utilizing the punis hment of death, in possible direct contravention to therights of the individual as guaranteed by the Constitution?

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