Harry Blackmun: Dissent in Callins v. Collins

(1994)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

A few months before his retirement from the Supreme Court, Justice Harry Blackmun used the case of Callins v. Collins to state his intention to never again vote in favor of capital punishment. While sitting on the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court he had registered his personal objections to capital punishment but had deferred to the states. However, in 1993 he and his clerks began drafting an opinion renouncing the death penalty as unconstitutional. He used it in Callins v. Collins.

Bruce Callins had killed a person during a robbery of a...

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Harry Blackmun (Library of Congress)

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