Fight To the Death

‘Burger’s move was unprecedented. It created a monster: The opinions in Furman ran over 60,000 words. And with no one in charge, the five-justice majority unraveled. Brennan tried to write an opinion that would satisfy Stewart, but couldn’t. White remained silent throughout the spring. In the end, Mandery says, Stewart and White had a closed-door conversation in which they reached the following agreement: “Stewart would abandon his moral position against the death penalty and draft an opinion striking down the Georgia death penalty because of its sporadic use. White, in turn, would cast the deciding fifth vote against capital punishment, and write that the death penalty was not applied frequently enough to accomplish any social aim.”’

Emily Bazelon, Slate, 6th September 2013.

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September 9, 2013 · 12:13 am

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