AGain using an AOL comment to explain why we have gone through such convoluted contortions in death penalty statures, and "moratoriums", over the years:
"I have a problem with the need for "Special Circumstances" to make the Death Penalty a reality."
"Special circumstances" is ENTIRELY the result of the Suprme Court acting UNCONSTITUTIONALLY (if you doubt it can, you should consider the original decision approving segregation) to IMPOSE its idea of a "perfect" death penalty statute.
First (first major moratorium), the Supreme Court abolished essentially ALL death penalty laws in this country as unconsitutional because they were "aribtrary and capricious", where some murderers got the death penalty and others did not.
Deomcratically elected representatives passed NEW death penalty laws imposing the death penalty, WITH CERTAINTY, for ALL first degree murders (good idea, really). APPALLED at the carnage (leftist point of view) they had unleashed, the Supreme Court invalidated ALL of those laws, on the grounds that a jury had to be able to consider the circumstances. New "moratorium".
Undeterred, the states went back to the drawing board to try to pass a statute with the legislative DETAILS required by the unelected politicians on the Supreme Court. Thus, we ended with the present farce, where you have to have "special circumstances" spelled out to prevent "arbitrary and capricious" imposition of the death penalty, but have to give the jury the opportunity to donsider the circumstances rather than automatically imposig the death penatly for every murder.