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Krishnamurthy is a PhD student at Duke University.
Finds that a main determinant of whether an individual will be executed is not the crime they commit, but the jurisdiction’s experience with executing others. This is not acceptable—legally, morally, or constitutionally.
Examines the record established through 40 years of experience with the “new and improved” death penalty since, in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated all existing death penalty laws in its landmark Furman v. Georgia decision. Asks if the modern system has worked as intended, and have the states successfully targeted only a narrow class of particularly heinous crimes and the most deserving criminals for the ultimate punishment, or do various elements of caprice, bias, and arbitrariness continue to make the application of the death penalty akin to “being struck by lightning” as the Court noted in Furman?