Order Now
Menu
  Back to all posts History Essays

Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968) and Death Qualified Juries

by Expert Writer Banice | 06 Mar 2017

Valentine’s day of 1978 set the stage for the case of Ardia McCree, a convicted felon for a capital offense. When he killed Evelyn Boughton, owner of the gift shop at Arkansas, a hyper-extended, controversial debate on Death Qualified Juries began to take its course in our legal system. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in his opinion on the Lockhart v. McCree, 476 U.S. 162 (1986) case, addressed the question that was anchored on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Witherspoon v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 510 (1968). That question involved the Constitutional prohibition (Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments) on removal for cause of prospective jurors who strongly opposed death penalty. Opposition, meaning, a point where these jurors might prevent or “substantially impair the performance of their duties as jurors” during the phase of the trial for meting out the sentence. Justice Rehnquist, speaking for the Court, answered the question in the negative.

Need essay sample on

"Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968) and Death Qualified Juries" topic?

We will write a custom essay sample specifically for you

Proceed

Undergraduates Usually Tell EssayLab specialists:
Who wants to write essay for me?
Essay writers suggest: Custom Essays - Easy And Quickly With Essaylab.Com
Essay Writer Cheap Professional Writers For Hire Best Essay Writing Service Cheap Custom Writing Service

I agree with the “serious evidentiary flaws” in the way McCree tried to argue his case. For example, he introduced 15 social science studies into evidence to support his allegedly Constitutional claims. However, out of the 15 studies, only 6 measured the potential effects on the “guilt-innocence determination of the removal from the jury of ‘Witherspoon-excludables’(Witherspoon v. Illinois, 1968, p. 169).” Of course, McCree cannot cite those inconclusive and rather dated studies as a basis for saying that the juries have become “conviction-prone” compared to “non-death qualified juries.”

Aside from the problematic social studies, another point is on the legal concept of “distinct groups” as part of fair-cross section requirements in the representation of a jury. The Court, in the Lockhart case cited jurisprudence to identify the purposes of this grouping. These include, guarding against arbitrary power and “preserving public confidence in the fairness of the criminal justice system (p. 175).” Since the Death Qualification is not part of these distinct groups, I don’t think there would be merit in McCree’s arguments at this point.

References

Lockhart v. McCree No. 84-1865. (1986). 476 U.S. 162. Online. Retrieved December 7, 2007, from <http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0476_0162_ZO.html>

Witherspoon v. Illinois. (1968). 391 U.S. 510. Online. Retrieved December 7, 2007.

Learn more:
Women During The War Decade Wordl war World War I

Do You need a paper on this topic?

Order Your Essay
Writer avatar

Profcarol1

№8 In global rating

360

finished papers

259

customer reviews

99%

success rate

Writer avatar

PrimeWriters

№20 In global rating

127

finished papers

94

customer reviews

100%

success rate

Writer avatar

Wr George tp

№15 In global rating

503

finished papers

381

customer reviews

97%

success rate

Writer avatar

MissPolymath

№11 In global rating

182

finished papers

134

customer reviews

95%

success rate

Writer avatar

Dr. Hudson

№3 In global rating

215

finished papers

159

customer reviews

100%

success rate

Writer avatar

Dr. Louisa (PhD)

№10 In global rating

654

finished papers

447

customer reviews

95%

success rate

Writer avatar

Dr. Wahome

№6 In global rating

97

finished papers

74

customer reviews

100%

success rate

Writer avatar

Miss White

№18 In global rating

155

finished papers

116

customer reviews

99%

success rate

Writer avatar

ProfGabie

№14 In global rating

394

finished papers

263

customer reviews

98%

success rate

Writer avatar

Dr. Ph.D. Dannito

№13 In global rating

229

finished papers

167

customer reviews

95%

success rate

Order your paper now!

I need
My email
By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.

EssayLab Reviews

  • Jason (student)

    I asked Essay Lab to write an essay for me and received paper the next day after I ordered it! Thank you!

  • Kimberly (student)

    Awesome WORK! If I ever need to write my essay – I will use only EssayLab!

  • Matt (student)

    These people are lifesavers! Just ask – “write me an essay” and they will start right away!

Support contacts

[email protected]