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   SUPREME COURT/Key Cases 1997-1998


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Death Penalty:
Buchanan v. Angelone

Appealed From: U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
Subject: Eighth Amendment; Capital Punishment; Criminal Law; Jury Instructions

Argued: Nov. 3, 1997

Decided: Jan. 21, 1998
Vote: 6-3
At Issue: Whether withholding information about mitigating circumstances, even though the defense requested that the information be offered, impedes a jury's Eighth Amendment right to impose the death penalty.

Decision: In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that a judge does not have to tell jury members about evidence that might make sentence a defendant to life in prison rather than death.

Read the full text of the 4th Circuit decision, Buchanan v. Angelone, at the Findlaw Internet Legal Services Web site. Also read the Eighth Amendment at the Findlaw Internet Legal Services Web site.

Sources: The Washington Post, Supreme Court, The United States Law Week (a Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. publication)


© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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