less than 1 minute read

McCleskey v. Kemp

Significance, Further Readings


Warren McCleskey


Ralph Kemp, Superintendent, Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center

Appellant's Claim

That statistics demonstrated that the death penalty was being administered in Georgia in a racially discriminatory manner, thus violating the constitutional guarantee of due process and the ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

John Charles Boger

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Mary Beth Westmoreland

Justices for the Court

Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (writing for the Court), William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

22 April 1987


The Supreme Court rejected McCleskey's claim and upheld his death sentence.

Related Cases

  • Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976).
  • McCleskey v. Zant, 499 U.S. 467 (1991).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988