And while impending, certain death does offer clarity, our modern secular society has not equipped most people with a foundation for meaningful reflection. In a Catholic state, even the meanest of men was submerged in the faith. The modern man is submerged in secularism, narcissism and nihilism, his mind is numbed by a constant onslaught of the senses and pleasure, and much of the Christian society is a heretical Christian society. Considering the state of modern man, modern society and the modern state, we need as much time as possible with the condemned if we hope to bring them to true contrition and absolution.
In 9 separate opinions, and by a vote of 5 to 4, the Court held that Georgia's death penalty statute, which gave the jury complete sentencing discretion, could result in arbitrary sentencing. The Court held that the scheme of punishment under the statute was therefore "cruel and unusual" and violated the Eighth Amendment. Thus, on June 29, 1972, the Supreme Court effectively voided 40 death penalty statutes, thereby commuting the sentences of 629 death row inmates around the country and suspending the death penalty because existing statutes were no longer valid.
The impact that death penalty publicity has on individuals' criminal activity can be examined in terms of the 'deterrence argument.' In the United States, the 'deterrence argument' is one of the most common justifications for the continued use of capital punishment.   Essentially, the deterrence argument puts forth the notion that executing criminals deters other individuals from engaging in criminal activity.   The existence of a deterrence effect is disputed. Studies – especially older ones – differ as to whether executions deter other potential criminals from committing murder or other crimes. The validity of the deterrence argument has been the subject of social science research since the 18th century, studied by many scholars, including Baldus & Cole in 1975;  Beccaria in 1764;  Bentham in 1830;  Sellin in 1955,  1961,  and 1967;  Schuessler in 1952;  and Tarde in 1912.  Until 1975, such studies agreed that executing convicted criminals and publicizing said executions did not significantly deter other individuals from committing crimes, thus disproving the deterrence argument.