Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s comments last week on the death penalty’s future in the United States grabbed more than a few headlines, and it could signal a future where America joins a majority of nations that outlaw capital punishment.
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On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases that dealt with the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Terrance Williams, who is at the center of two capital punishment controversies, will have one of his cases argued at the United States Supreme Court in the next year, as the Justices accepted an appeal Thursday on Eighth and 14th Amendment grounds.
There could be a five-Justice majority to strike down the practice.
Lyle Denniston, the National Constitution Center’s constitutional literacy adviser, looks at how comments from Justice Anthony Kennedy could lead to a stream of new cases from prisoners testing the constitutionality of solitary confinement.