Death Penalty ACLU 2012 The Case against essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Subject: Criminal Justice
  • Type: essay
  • Paper: #43641777

Excerpt from essay :

Death Penalty

ACLU. (2012). The Case against the Death Penalty. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Retrieved from

The American Civil Liberties Union works at preserving and defending the rights and freedoms of the American people, regardless of their race, gender, religious or political affiliations. One of these rights is the right to equal protection, which illegalizes racial, and other forms of discrimination. The article begins with the strong proposition that the state ought not to impose upon itself the right to kill in a ceremonial and premeditated fashion "in the name of the law or in the name of its people," especially if the killing is done in a discriminatory and arbitrary manner. The article proves, using tangible real life examples, that the death penalty is often driven by racial prejudice, does little to deter crime and goes against the democratic principles of fairness and humanity.

This particular article will therefore help me validate hypothesis H2, thereby discrediting the efficiency and relevance of capital punishment as a tool for crime deterrence.

Aljazeera America. (2014). States Pressured to End Death Penalty After Horrifying Execution. Aljazeera America. Retrieved from

The article illustrates the inhumane manner through which Dennis McGuire, who had been sentenced to death for rape and murder, was executed in Ohio. According to the author, the lethal injection consisting of "intravenous doses of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone" left McGuire snorting and gasping for approximately twenty-five minutes. The article also demonstrates the pressure that has, since McGuire's horrifying execution, continued to pile on Ohio's governor to halt executions within the state.

The article will come in handy as I seek to demonstrate that the death penalty is barbaric and inhuman. It will also provide support to hypothesis H5, which holds that the death penalty is headed for total abolition.

Amnesty USA. (2014). Anyone Who Witnessed That Execution will Never Forget. Amnesty USA. Retrieved from

The article contains an image of activists protesting against the death penalty in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, after the terrifying execution of McGuire in the state of Ohio. The author illustrates that the cruelty of the death penalty is not only felt by the prisoner himself, but by the witnesses who have to experience such occurrences. As it will be mentioned elsewhere, one of the reasons why I chose this particular topic is to demonstrate that a prisoner's execution does not end with his death. The irreparable effects that accrue to his family members, relatives, friends and associates cannot be overlooked. This text further reinforced this assertion, and strengthens the views expressed in hypothesis H5.

Beck, E., Britto, S. & Andrews, A. (2007). In the Shadow of Death: Restorative Justice and Death Row Families. New York: Oxford University Press

As it will be mentioned in the paper, there has been debate over whether or not the family of an executed prisoner deserves to pay for his crimes, especially if the resultant damage and negative publicity are either difficult to repair, or not reparable at all. In order to examine the extent of such damage, it would be crucial to familiarize oneself with resources that offer real life scenarios of this kind. This is book is one valuable resource, on this front.

The book will come in handy as I seek to demonstrate that the death penalty punishes the family, more than it does the prisoner. This is essential as it further strengthened my anti-death penalty views. The reliability of this resource extends from the fact that the authors are, besides being professors in social work, renowned social activists, who frequently interact with families from all walks of life.

Bohm, R.M. & Vogel, B. (2010). A Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Racial discrimination has been a serious concern in the administration of the death penalty. Statistics prove that people of color have higher chances of being sentenced to death, than their white counterparts who commit similar crimes. It would be prudent to study the causes of racial prejudice. Bohm and Vogel's book clearly brings out the role played by unofficial societal values in the development of delinquent behavior.

The text will be of great utility as I attempt to validate hypothesis H1, and thereby prove that society indeed plays a significant role in the prevalence of racial discriminatory practices.

Crosby, C., Britner, P., Jodl, K., & Portwood, S. (2007). The Juvenile Death Penalty and the Eighth Amendment: An Empirical Investigation of Societal Consensus and Proportionality. Law and Human Behavior, 19, 245-261.

A society's objectives, norms, images, and concepts are demonstrated through its official values. Society, therefore, through these official values, influences an individual's positive behavior, and instills in him, the need to conform to the law. On the other hand, however, official values such as success have a hand in the development of delinquent behavior, within which this resource categorizes racial discrimination.

This resource will boost my attempt to prove that admirable official values such as success, if not properly checked, contribute to racial discriminatory practices.

Death Penalty. (2004). Reinstating the Death Penalty. The Death Penalty. Retrieved from

One of the significant developments in the history of the death penalty was the Furman case, which gave rise to the 'modern era of the death penalty.' This article raises important questions in reference to the post-Furman death sentence.

This text will be critical in my attempt to demonstrate that the death penalty was highly flawed from the very beginning; and that changes and adjustments will do little to improve it. This further strengths my view that that the death penalty should simply be abolished. This article can be considered a highly reliable resource due to the publication's positive reputation, and the article's objective presentation of ideas.

Equal Justice Initiative. (2012). Racial Bias. Equal Justice Initiative. Retrieved from

This article makes use of actual statistics to demonstrate that the administration of the death penalty is highly biased and racially prejudiced. EJI illustrates how the numbers of convicts on the death row deviate from the statistics portrayed by the recent census. The article calls to question the accuracy of the death penalty administration, especially judging from the large number of cases that are reversed each year.

The article will be useful for my research as it will strongly supported my anti-death penalty ideas.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (1995). Uniform Crime Reports, 1993. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

This government publication looks at the number of black and white prisoners convicted and sent to the gallows during the period between the reinstatement of the death sentence, and the end of 1995. The article reveals that these numbers clearly deviate from the 1998 census results.

These statistics will be crucial as I seek to demonstrate that the death penalty administration goes against the principles of fairness as laid out in the constitution.

Grisso, T. (1996). Society's Retributive Response to Juvenile Violence: A Developmental Perspective. Law and Human Behavior, 20, 229-247

Grisso explains that the urge to do wrong is driven by a force beyond the individual; it is driven by society itself. The arguments are based on information derived from studies, statistics and conducted interviews. Grisso is an author, and co-author to a number of reliable resources, and his ideas are therefore highly factual.

Grisso's book demonstrates that racial discrimination stems from the society, and not the individual, which is why its control within the administration of the death penalty is almost impossible.

Ideastream. (2013). Death Penalty in Ohio. Ideastream. Retrieved from

This article demonstrates the amount of pressure that is piling on governors in states that still practice the death penalty to halt the practice, and replace it with an alternative that would achieve similar results in a more humane manner. The state of Ohio in particular is accused of carrying out the practice in a manner that lacks uniformity. The objective presentation of ideas, and the positive reputation of the Ideastream publication makes it a highly reliable resource.

The article will contribute significantly to my research as it will reinforce the view that the death penalty is not only barbaric and inhumane, but also lacking of uniformity.

Inkelas, K.K. (2006). Racial Attitudes and Asian Pacific Americans: Demystifying the Model Minority. New York: Taylor and Francis.

The high value that the American society attaches to success is critical in the enhancement of unfavorable behavior. Inkelas explains how the need to always achieve success could lead to frustration. The author draws his conclusions from reliable and factual sources.

The views and objective arguments expressed herein will strengthen the idea that that society plays a role in the prevalence of racial discrimination, in line with hypothesis H1.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (n.d.). Deductive and Inductive Arguments. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from

This online article demonstrates the reasoning behind deductive arguments. The arguments expressed therein will be crucial in helping me draw the conclusion that, given the weight, significance, and established validity…

Cite This Essay:

"Death Penalty ACLU 2012 The Case Against" (2014, February 04) Retrieved January 16, 2017, from

"Death Penalty ACLU 2012 The Case Against" 04 February 2014. Web.16 January. 2017. <>

"Death Penalty ACLU 2012 The Case Against", 04 February 2014, Accessed.16 January. 2017,