Booth V. Sidney Case Summary

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In the case of Booth versus the state of Maryland, John Booth was convicted of murdering an elderly couple in 1983. Booth and a co-conspirator brutally murdered Irvin Bronstein (78), and Rose Bronstein (75). They were robbed and murdered in their West Baltimore home. John Booth and Willie Reid entered the victims' home to steal money to buy heroin. Booth, a neighbor of the Bronstein, knew that the elderly couple could identify him. Irvin and his wife were bound, gagged, and stabbed repeatedly in the chest with a kitchen knife. Their bodies were discovered two days later by their son. Booth was later arrested, charged, and convicted of the crime by a jury. They found Booth guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of robbery, and …show more content…
Booth claimed that by considering this type of documentation would lead to arbitrary or capricious sentencing. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it was unconstitutional to utilize victim impact statements in a capital sentencing proceeding. This result was ruled unconstitutional on behalf of Furman versus Georgi. The Court determined that by introducing this information, the state confirms the jury's death penalty decision impermissibly arbitrary and capricious. In reaching its conclusion, the court refused to engage in the traditional systemic examination of the eighth amendment law theory, but to introduce philosophic and procedural flaws in the use of victim impact evidence. As a result, the court prohibited the use of victim impact statements as evidence in death penalty proceedings. In 1991, the Court reversed the decision and ruled that prosecutors could introduce victim impact statements when survivors of murder victims could testify. This decision was founded based on Payne versus the State of Tennessee. The majority clarified that courts have always considered the harm imposed by defendants when determining appropriate