Wilkerson v. Utah

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Wilkerson v. Utah
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued January 8, 1879
Decided March 17, 1879
Full case name Wallace Wilkerson, plaintiff in error, v. People of the United States in the Territory of Utah
Citations 99 U.S. 130 (more)
25 L. Ed. 345; 1878 U.S. LEXIS 1517; 9 Otto 130
Utah Territory court's sentence of death by firing squad was not cruel and unusual punishment; Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah affirmed.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Clifford, joined by unanimous
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. VIII

Wilkerson v. Utah, 99 U.S. 130 (1879), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Utah in stating that execution by firing squad, as prescribed by the Utah territorial statute, was not cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[1]

Subsequent developments[edit]

Baze v. Rees[edit]

Main article: Baze v. Rees

In April 2008, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas cited the case of Wilkerson v. Utah in affirming that Kentucky's method of execution by lethal injection did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Reports of cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of the United States". Lawyers Cooperative Publishing. 1885. pp. 345–348. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ King, Gilbert (April 23, 2008). "Cruel and Unusual History". New York Times. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Baze and Bowling v. Rees". Supreme Court of the United States. April 16, 2008. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 

External links[edit]