From the AP...
Some major Supreme Court cases on capital punishment:
_ In 1972, in a case called Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court declared capital punishment unconstitutional.
_ In 1976, in Gregg v. Georgia, the court reinstated the death penalty.
_ In 1986, in Ford v. Wainwright, the court held it unconstitutional to execute the insane.
_ In 1988, in Thompson v. Oklahoma, the court outlawed execution for those younger than 16.
_ In 1989, in Sanford v. Kentucky, the court specifically allowed execution for 16- and 17-year-olds convicted of murder.
_ Also in 1989, in Penry v. Luynaugh, the court allowed execution of mentally retarded defendants in some cases.
_ In 2002, the court reversed itself and outlawed execution of the mentally retarded.
_ Also in 2002, the court said only juries, not judges alone, may make crucial determinations about which cases qualify for a death sentence.