Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

Constitutionality of the Death Penalty Provision of 18 U.S.C. § 1111

Headnotes: 

Because of the unfettered discretion conferred on the sentencing authority by 18 U.S.C. § 1111, the death penalty may not constitutionally be imposed under that statute.

In the absence of express legislative authorization, federal district judges have no power to devise procedures which would satisfy the requirements dictated by the Supreme Court’s death penalty decisions.

Updated July 9, 2014