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Extra info for Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual? (Information Plus Reference Series)

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Williams received the death sentence for the capital murders. The prosecution told the jury about the plea agreement with Cruse. The state later revoked the plea agreement after discovering that Cruse had also raped the wife and failed to disclose it. After Cruse’s court testimony against Williams, however, the state gave Cruse a life sentence, which Williams alleged amounted to a second, informal plea agreement. The writ may issue only if one of the following two conditions is satisfied—the state-court adjudication resulted in a decision that (1) ‘‘was contrary to .

Presumption of Malice Dale Robert Yates and Henry Davis planned to rob a country store in Greenville County, South Carolina, in February 1981. When they entered the store, only the owner, Willie Wood, was present. Yates and Davis showed their weapons and ordered Wood to give them money from the cash register. Davis handed Yates $3,000 and ordered Wood to lie across the counter. Wood, who had a pistol beneath his jacket, refused. Meanwhile, Yates was backing out of the store with his gun pointed at the owner.

S. Constitution, as interpreted in previous capital punishment rulings, required the state of California to give his case comparative proportionality review to determine if his death sentence was not out of line with that of others convicted of similar crimes. In comparative proportionality review, a court considers the seriousness of the offense, the severity of the penalty, the sentences imposed for other crimes, and the sentencing in other jurisdictions for the same crime. Courts have occasionally struck down punishments inherently disproportionate and, therefore, cruel and unusual.

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