Last updated on: 11/10/2008 | Author:

Thurgood Marshall, LLB Biography

Former US Supreme Court Associate Justice
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“[Capital punishment] violates the Eighth Amendment because it is morally unacceptable to the people of the United States at this time in their history. In judging whether or not a given penalty is morally acceptable, most courts have said that the punishment is valid unless ‘it shocks the conscience and sense of justice of the people.’ Assuming knowledge of all the facts presently available regarding capital punishment, the average citizen would, in my opinion, find it shocking to his conscience and sense of justice. For this reason alone, capital punishment cannot stand.”

Concurrent opinion in Furman v. Georgia, June 29, 1972

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Recipient, Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1993
  • Associate Justice, US Supreme Court, 1967-1991
  • US Solicitor General, 1965-1967
  • Judge, US Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 1961-1965
  • Chief Counsel, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1940-1961
  • Special Counsel, NAACP, 1938-1950
  • Assistant Special Counsel, NAACP, 1936-1938
  • Attorney, Baltimore, MD, 1933-1940
  • Recipient, Spingarn Medal, NAACP, 1946
  • Member, Alpha Phi Alpha
  • LLB, magna cum laude, Howard University, 1933
  • AB, cum laude, Lincoln University, PA, 1930
  • First African American appointed to the US Supreme Court