Woodson v. North Carolina - Significance, Woodson's Crime, Carolina's Punishment, "a Faceless, Undifferentiated Mass"
James Tyrone Woodson, et al.
State of North Carolina
That a North Carolina law establishing a mandatory death sentence for all convicted first-degree murderers constituted a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
Chief Lawyer for Petitioner
Anthony G. Anderson
Chief Lawyer for Respondent
Sidney S. Eagles, Jr.
Justices for the Court
William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart (writing for the Court)
Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger, William H. Rehnquist, Byron R. White
Date of Decision
2 July 1976
That the North Carolina law was unconstitutional because it failed to take into account the "fundamental respect for humanity" inherent in the Eighth Amendment's requirement that punishment be "exercised within the limits of civilized standards."
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