Last updated on: 11/10/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Thurgood Marshall, LLB Biography

Title:
Former US Supreme Court Associate Justice
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?"
Reasoning:

“[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

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to death penalty issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to death penalty issues.
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
Education:
  • LLB, magna cum laude, Howard University, 1933
  • AB, cum laude, Lincoln University, PA, 1930
Other:
  • First African American appointed to the US Supreme Court
Quoted in:
  1. Should the Death Penalty Be Used for Retribution?
  2. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?
  3. Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?