Last updated on: 8/3/2012 | Author:

William J. Brennan, Jr., JD Biography

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

“Death is not only an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality, and in its enormity, but it serves no penal purpose more effectively than a less severe punishment; therefore the principle inherent in the Clause that prohibits pointless infliction of excessive punishment when less severe punishment can adequately achieve the same purposes invalidates the punishment.”

Gregg v. Georgia, dissenting opinion, July 2, 1976

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Associate Justice, US Supreme Court, 1956-1990
  • Colonel, US Army
  • Attorney, private practice, 1928-1932
  • JD, Harvard University, 1931
  • BS, Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1928
  • Born Apr. 25, 1906, died July 24, 1997
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower