William Henry Furman

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William Henry Furman is an American convicted felon who was the central figure in Furman v. Georgia, the case in which the United States Supreme Court outlawed most uses of the death penalty in the United States. Furman had a sixth-grade education and was judged "emotionally disturbed and mentally impaired."[1] Furman was convicted of murdering, during a home invasion, William Micke in Savannah, Georgia on August 11, 1967 and subsequently sentenced to death on September 20, 1968 after a one-day trial. The sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court on the basis of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Furman was paroled in April 1984. He pleaded guilty to a 2004 burglary charge in Bibb County Superior Court, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In April 2016, Furman was paroled from prison.


Four years after the landmark decision, Troy Leon Gregg, a man sentenced to death for a double killing during a robbery, would also be standing before the Supreme Court, also pleading for his life (See: Gregg v. Georgia). However, he would hear an entirely different decision; a decision that would end the short judicial abolition of the death penalty in the US and lead the renewal of the use of capital punishment in 1977 with the firing-squad execution of Gary Gilmore in Utah.

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