Death Penalty

Events

First death penalty execution in Jamestown, VA for treason

1608

Abolitionist movement begins

1750 - 1800

Rhode Island is the first state to outlaw the death penalty for all crimes

1852

14th Amendment is ratified and later used to challenge the death penalty

July 9, 1868

U.S. Congress passed a bill reducing the number of federal death crimes

1897

Six states completely outlawed the death penalty and three limit reduce it.

1907 - 1917

Weems v. United States establishes precedents on "cruel and unusual punishment"

May 2, 1910

Supreme Court finds second execution attempt after technical malfunction does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment

January 13, 1947

United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1948

Trop v. Dulles (356 U.S. 86), referred to 8th amendment and level of decency

1958

Coker v. Georgia (433 U.S. 584) limits to the death penalty followed (like mentally ill)

1977

Eleven people sentenced to death by the federal government for criminal conduct occurring in non-death penalty states

2002 - 2017