|McGautha v. California|
|Argued November 9, 1970|
Decided May 3, 1971
|Full case name||McGautha v. California|
|Citations||402 U.S. 183 (more)|
|(1) Untrammeled discretion of the jury the power to pronounce life or death in capital cases is constitutional.|
(2) Having the issues of guilt and punishment resolved in a single trial was constitutional.
|Majority||Harlan, joined by Burger, Stewart, White, Blackmun|
|Dissent||Douglas, joined by Brennan, Marshall|
|Dissent||Brennan, joined by Douglas, Marshall|
|U.S. Const. amend. VIII|
McGautha v. California, 402 U.S. 183 (1971), is a criminal case heard by the United States Supreme Court, in which the Court held that the lack of legal standards by which juries imposed the death penalty was not an unconstitutional violation of the due process clause portions of the Fourteenth Amendment.: 467  Justice Harlan wrote that writing rules for jury death penalty decisions was beyond current human ability.: 467 The context was public and philosophical scrutiny of the unequal application of the death penalty, especially in that blacks who killed whites were much more likely to have a death penalty imposed.: 467 McGautha was superseded one year later by Furman v. Georgia.
- Criminal Law - Cases and Materials, 7th ed. 2012, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business; John Kaplan, Robert Weisberg, Guyora Binder, ISBN 978-1-4548-0698-1, 
- Bessler, John (2012). "Tinkering Around the Edges: The Supreme Court's Death Penalty Jurisprudence". American Criminal Law Review. 49: 1913. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
In McGautha v. California, the Court first held in 1971 that a jury's imposition of the death penalty without governing standards did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause.
- Text of McGautha v. California, 402 U.S. 183 (1971) is available from: Justia Library of Congress Oyez (oral argument audio)