STUDIES: Colorado’s Death Penalty Rarely Applied and Arbitrary

A new investigate conducted by law professors Justin Marceau (left) and Sam Kamin (middle) of a University of Denver and Wanda Foglia (right) of Rowan University found that a genocide chastisement in Colorado is practical so frequency as to describe a complement unconstitutional.  The authors resolved that Colorado’s genocide chastisement law is germane to roughly all first-degree murders, though is imposed so intermittently that it fails to yield a kind of clever squeezing of cases compulsory by a Supreme Court in Furman v. Georgia (1972).  In this groundbreaking study, a researchers reviewed all first-degree murder cases in a state between 1999 and 2010. They found that 92 percent of a 544 first-degree murder cases in that time camber contained during slightest one aggravating cause that done a suspect authorised for a genocide penalty. However, prosecutors filed notices of vigilant to find a genocide chastisement in usually 15 murder cases and followed a genocide chastisement during hearing in usually 5 of those cases — a 1% rate among death-eligible cases. The authors wrote, “Under a Colorado collateral sentencing system, many defendants are authorised though roughly nothing are indeed condemned to death. Because Colorado’s aggravating factors so frequency outcome in tangible genocide sentences, their use in any given box is a defilement of a Eighth Amendment.”

Colorado backed a genocide chastisement in 1975.  Since that time, a state has had one execution and now has 3 people on genocide row.

(J. Ingold, “Colorado genocide chastisement law unconstitutional, investigate contends,” Denver Post, Aug 6, 2012; see authors’ submission to a court in State v. Montour, No. 02CR782, Jul 11, 2012).  See Arbitrariness and Studies.  Listen to the podcast on Arbitrariness.