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Coker v. Georgia - Significance, On Appeal, The Verdict, Nothing Left To Lose, Ginsburg Revisits Her Brief

appellant decision court appellee


Ehrlich Anthony Coker


State of Georgia

Appellant's Claim

That the death penalty for rape violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

David E. Kendall

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

B. Dean Grindle, Jr., Assistant Attorney General of Georgia

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White (writing for the Court)

Justices Dissenting

Warren E. Burger, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 June 1977


In a split decision, the Court ruled that Georgia's death penalty for rape violated the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Related Cases

  • Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962).
  • Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972).
  • Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976).
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almost 8 years ago

i am still in favor of the death penalty or eye for a eye for coker! This animal is still breathing and walking around in prison , after all the crimes and mayhem he has caused and also the murder of one innocent woman {SUE WICK}. I was the first officer at the scene in the backwoods in the city of mt.view Ga.i was waved down by to squirrel hunters and was told of a dead woman in the woods when i arrived i saw a woman lying on her back , her eyes were fixed, and her body was naked, i will never forget the look of her eyes , and how white her body was, as she had lost all of her blood from the stab wounds she suffered!i counted over eight stab wounds on her and noticed that her clothes were placed next to her head . After all these years i have not been able to forget this brutal act , this coward and demon COKER would commit more rapes kidnapping and other crimes! I am very surprised that he has not been dealt some prison justice for being a rapist, child molester, murderer ect!this crime scene that i was first police officer there is like i said once before was terrible and will always be in my memory, i commend the Clayton county sheriffs office for there investigation of this crime, as our little dept of mt.view GA was not equipped enough to do a complete forensics exam at the scene! I wish only one thing that had i been on duty the night the victim was dumped in the woods of our little city,{instead the next day , that i would have noticed the van that coker and his br. in law were in i wish i had seen that van pull into the back road off of old Dixie{41} hwy that i would have stopped them and found what they were going to do{dump her body}, as she was kidnapped in Atlanta at the treasure island mall, and where she was actually killed , Atlanta or Clayton cty we did not know! I wish that would have happened, the next thing is this, that at least COKER was caught and brought to justice. we all know the rest of COKER later crime sprees!

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about 9 years ago

coker v/s georgia. wow i was the first officer on the scene of the sue wick kidnapping rape and murderby coker and his br. in law. i was not a pretty site. this young woman was picked and brought to my city . i served the law for yrs but to let this animal escape the death penalty is the decision by out court so it is upheld , however i wish someone would take care of this devil in the prison.