Death Takes a Holiday

 June 29, 1972  – The Unites States Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the 8th  and 14th Amendments, and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.  This ruling effectively ended capital punishment in the United States.  There had not been an execution since that of  Luis Monge in California on June 2, 1967.  Over the next several years there was a virtual moratorium on capital punishment as states rewrote their laws.  The moratorium ended when Gary Gilmore insisted on death by firing squad following his conviction for murder in Utah.  His wishes were granted on January 17, 1977.

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