Originally Posted by Stax
I think that case is Coker v. Georgia, or some similar name. IIRC, that court held that a sentence of death violated the 8th when the accused was only convicted of rape, rather than holding that murder is mandatory prerequisite to a death sentence. I am pulling this out of my foggy memory of a capital punishment seminar I took in LS, however, and I could be off base. Also, I think some other crimes that result in a death that does not rise to level of murder are eligible for the death penalty. Threatening or ordering the death of a federal witness or jury member is also a federal capital offense, I think.
Ah yes, you are right. I just consulted my old criminal law outline and I have written that in Coker v. Georgia
the Supreme Court held that the punishment of death is constitutionally disproportionate where the defendant has been convicted of rape, but it doesn't say that murder (or a killing) is a prerequisite for imposition of the death penalty. Good looking out. Also, sorry for the hijack.