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Abstract

Today, despite daily struggles in courtrooms against capital punishment, there appears little legal room to challenge the death penalty. Most constitutional questions appear "settled. Given the present composition of the Supreme Court, there is scant expectation of any major reversals. Also, the Court's future is to be decided by a President who was governor of a state that has executed more people since 1976 than any other state in the nation. While abolitionist scholars and activists continue to raise constitutional issues, the most dramatic events challenging the death penalty have occurred in the larger political arena outside the courtroom. The many gestures across the country advocating moratoriums on executions give hope to abolitionists that the political terrain of the death penalty could be shifting.