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and, that do to so would contradict Judeo-Christian values of morality (Wilson, 2009). Additionally, opponents of the death penalty note that there is no evidence that lethal punishment has any effect whatsoever on whether or not criminals will commit a murder; and, that retribution here does not help to bring about closure. Rather, it perpetuates the underlying violence and had a tendency to bring about more anger as opposed to peace. In the words of Jesuit Priest and Community Professor, Raymond a. Schroth, S.J., "It [capital punishment] contaminates the otherwise good will which any human being needs to progress in love and understanding" (Schroth, 2008). Thus, capital punishment as a means to provide retribution for families fails to take into consideration the immense toll that the process of putting another human being puts another under.
In addition to the foregoing reasons against capital punishment, a review of the implementation of capital punishment over the years in America in particular reveals that the practice itself is not free from racial stereotypes. In fact, a disproportionate amount of people of color have been sentenced to death. Furthermore, the poor have less access to knowledge regarding his or her options and they have less resources to rely upon should they need help. As such, a disproportionate amount of people being set to death includes those who cannot find a lawyer who is ready and willing to fight for their honor and their name (Wilson, 2009).
Case Study: Stanley Tookie Williams III
One of the more controversial modern capital cases occurred in the United States in 2005, upon the death of Stanley Tookie Williams III. The "King Crip" or Stanley Tookie Williams III was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1953. As a young adult, he founded Crips which has grown into one of the most notorious and violent gangs in the United States today. In 1979, the court convicted him of four murders during the course of a robbery and sentenced him to death. Toward the end of his life, he apologized for his role in the creation of the Crips and for the numerous crimes that he committed -- many of which included the murder and assault of innocent human beings. Moreover, in the last decade of his life, he authored many books professing the dangers of belonging to a gang and helped to influence many young people that violence was not the answer (Van Slambrouck, 2000, p.1). Despite substantial public outcry in support of granting him clemency and despite all the people he helped deter from gang affiliation in recent years, he was executed in December of 2005, for committing the crimes he did prior to his change in heart and contribution to humanity (Finch, 2005).
Modern society's morals and the purpose of the criminal justice system itself contradict the practice of putting people to death. Our government needs to recognize the barbaric nature of capital punishment. If for some reason, one does not see the barbaric nature, then ask yourself: Could I work there? Could I be the one delivering the last meal? Could I sit through even an execution of the most heinous of criminals? Indeed, most of us could not do the foregoing. As we enter a more advanced era in our history, our history books need to demonstrate a movement toward human rights. In short, capital punishment itself runs contradictory to the notions of morality and spirituality as demonstrated through the life and the death of Tookie Williams.
America's Tug of War over Sanctioned Death. (2009, September 9). Retrieved from Random House.
Banks, Cyndi. 2005. Punishment in America. Contemporary World Issues. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Banner, Stuart. 2002. The Death Penalty: An American History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.
Budziszewski, J. (2004). Capital punishment: The case for justice. Journal of Government and Philosophy. Retrieved from University of Texas at Austin.
Finch, S. (2005, December 23). WILLIAMS EXECUTED / LAST HOURS / Gang co-founder put to death for 1979 murders of 4 in L.A. area. SF Gate.
Levinson, David. 2002. Capital Crimes. Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment. 4th Vol. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Schroth, SJ, R.A. (2008, September 18). Email to Procon.org [E-mail].
Van Slambrouck, P. "On Death Row, an Author and Nobel…[continue]
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Death Penalty is the most severe forms of punishment that can be accorded to a criminal who has committed a crime and deserves to be punished. The brief history of death penalty shows that this is nothing new, because it was something that was practiced right from the eighteenth century BC, in Babylon, and thereafter in Athens, and in Rome, and in Great Britain. The death penalty methods of punishments
[DPIC] Similarly, many other researches were conducted but failed to offer any conclusive evidence as to the effectiveness of capital punishment in deterring crimes. The lack of consistency in these results presents a complex problem before us in evaluating the utilitarian value of death penalty. One more aspect to be considered under the utilitarian thought is the cost of executions. It is well-known that the legal cost of executions in
The death penalty is therefore morally and ethically necessary not only for an ordered society but as a necessary means to protect the innocent from evil. Secondly, from a Catholic point-of-view this stance is supported by centuries of Church doctrine and by references to Biblical test, as discussed above. This also refers to the view that many modern Catholics take; which in turn refers to the contemporary emphasis on the
, 2010, p. 428). In a country where Blacks represent only 13% of the population, as of 2010 they made up "twenty-eight of the fifty-seven (49%) of inmates on federal death row," Cohen writes on page 428. Speaking of the "geography of the federal death penalty," Cohen asserts that six of the ninety-four federal judicial districts account for fully "one-third of death authorizations." Seven federal districts are responsible for "…approximately 40%
Death Penalty for Juvenile Offenders Supreme Court by a majority decision on March 1, 2005 in Roper v. Simmons held that death penalty for juveniles was "cruel and unusual" and as such the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution forbid the execution of offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed. The action reversed the death sentences of 72 convicted murderers in the U.S.
Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, warned about broader problems with the capital punishment. "When the law punishes by death, it risks its own sudden descent into brutality, transgressing the constitutional commitment to decency and restraint." He took into account the many dangers of the death penalty and concluded it should be restricted to homicides (Death Penalty Information Center, 2008). The main question regarding the research for or against capital
However, this difficulty can be avoided by examining van den Haag's distinction between justice and equality. The physical reality of administering justice can never match its theoretical guidelines. Justice is a necessary tool in the aim of producing a functional society. Accordingly, inequities that arise in its practice must be tolerated -- although fought against. State sanctioned killing, on the other hand, is not a logistic necessity for any