In 1976, the United States Supreme Court decided that capital punishment does not violate the Eighth Amendment's protection against cruel and unusual punishment. This note raises the question whether extended incarceration on death row invokes the protections of the Eighth Amendment. This note examines four aspects of this issue. First, it traces the facts and procedural history of McKenzie. Second, the history of cruel and unusual punishment jurisprudence is discussed. Third, it details and analyzes the majority and dissenting opinions. Finally, it demonstrates that McKenzie is a poorly reasoned opinion.
Amber A. Bell,
McKenzie v. Day: Is Twenty Years on Death Row Cruel and Unusual Punishment?, 26 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.