Last updated on: 5/14/2008 | Author:

Federal Judicial Center Biography

Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“[t]he death penalty [is] a sentencing option for over sixty offenses. In addition, the The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994… established a procedure for conducting the sentencing phase of a capital trial and set forth the prerequisites for imposing the death penalty, including information on aggravating and mitigating factors and appointment of counsel.

Furthermore, the jury is required to return special findings with respect to the aggravating factors. The Federal Death Penalty Act provides that a finding of a statutory aggravating factor must be unanimous, whereas a finding of a mitigating factor may be made by a single jury member. Similarly, the Act directs the jury to ‘consider whether all the aggravating factor or factors found to exist sufficiently outweigh all the mitigating factor or factors found to exist to justify the death sentence.’

In the event of a death sentence, the Act directs the U.S. marshal to supervise implementation of the sentence in the manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed. If the death sentence is handed down in a state that does not have the death penalty, the court will ‘designate another state, the law of which does provide for the implementation of a sentence of death, and have the prisoner executed in accordance with the law prevailing there.”

“Resource Guide for Managing Capital Cases,”, Apr. 2004.


“The Federal Judicial Center is the research and education agency of the federal judicial system. It was established by Congress in 1967 (28 U.S.C. ยงยง 620-629), on the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States.”

“About the Federal Judicial Center,” (accessed May 13, 2008)


“The many specific statutory duties of the Center and its Board fall into a few broad categories: conducting and promoting orientation and continuing education and training for federal judges, court employees, and others; developing recommendations about the operation and study of the federal courts; [and] conducting and promoting research on federal judicial procedures, court operations, and history.”

“About the Federal Judicial Center,” (accessed May 13, 2008)

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