The Texas Statutes Authorizing the Death Penalty Do Not Violate the Eighth Amendment’s Prohibition of Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Taylor, William R.
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Examines Jurek v. Taylor. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Jurek held that article 1257 of the Texas Penal Code, which authorized the death penalty for certain offenses, did not violate the eighth amendment’s bar of cruel and unusual punishment. This holding was decided on the basis of the United States Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia, which held that the death penalty was not unconstitutional as long as the statute providing for such a sentence was correctly drafted to preclude its arbitrary, capricious, and standardless imposition. The author posits that Jurek would be overturned if reviewed by the contemporaneous Supreme Court.