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By Mary Welek Atwell (auth.)

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Extra resources for An American Dilemma: International Law, Capital Punishment, and Federalism

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22 All in all, since the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia, the United States and other Western nations have moved in opposite directions. 23 Meanwhile, other Western democracies have abandoned the practice of capital punishment altogether. L OCKETT and S TRICKLAND : Mitigation and Representation Following the court’s approval of the bifurcated trial separating the determination of guilt from sentencing, it became clear that the conduct of the punishment phase was critically important.

On April 14, in Breard v. 19 46 A n A m e r i ca n D i l e m m a Breard v. 20 In a per curium opinion, five members of the court (Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas), with a concurrence by Justice Souter, rejected the claims of Breard, Paraguay, and the ICJ. 21 The majority ruled that Breard had procedurally defaulted his claim under the Vienna Convention by failing to raise the issue in state court. ”22 This point suggested that the Supreme Court was helpless to override state procedural rules, regardless of their consequences.

5 Gradually, many other nations came to see the right to life as prohibiting any state execution and the trend toward universal abolition of the death penalty accelerated. In 1990, the Organization of American States adopted the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty. Although the United States did not ratify the document, the signatories agreed that member states should abstain from the use of the death penalty. The only exception was for “extremely serious” wartime crimes.

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