By Kim Masters Evans
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Extra resources for Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual? (Information Plus Reference Series)
The district court ruled that the new evidence did not demonstrate actual innocence as required under Schlup v. Delo and failed to show that House was ineligible for the death penalty under Sawyer v. Whitley. The ruling was eventually upheld on appeal. In House v. Bell (No. S. Supreme Court ruled 5–3 that House’s habeas petition should proceed, because the new evidence constituted a ‘‘stringent showing’’ under Schlup v. Delo. The Court concluded: This is not a case of conclusive exoneration. Some aspects of the State’s evidence—Lora Muncey’s memory of a deep voice, House’s bizarre evening walk, his lie to law enforcement, his appearance near the body, and the blood on his pants—still support an inference of guilt.
Campbell, in challenging the Capital Punishment constitutionality of hanging under the Washington statute, claimed that execution by hanging violated his Eighth Amendment right because it was a cruel and unusual punishment. Furthermore, the direction that he be hanged unless he chose lethal injection was a cruel and unusual punishment. He claimed that such instruction further violated his First Amendment right by forcing him to participate in his own execution to avoid hanging. In Campbell v. 3d.
584) and in Eberheart v. S. 917) that the death penalty may not be imposed for the crime of raping an adult woman that does not result in death. The Court stated: Rape is without doubt deserving of serious punishment; but in terms of moral depravity and of the injury to the person and to the public, it does not compare with murder, which does involve the unjustified taking of human life. Although it may be accompanied by another crime, rape by definition does not include the death of or even the serious injury to another person.