Death Penalty a Political Science Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Again, here we see that political disposition is a significant factor in shaping one's position on the subject. Those who support the death penalty tend to take a position of greater trust in the fairness and equality of the government, which is a disposition promoted itself by certain cultural, economic and racial characteristics. From this disposition, a counterargument frequently proposed against the notion of discontinuing the death penalty due to its apparent racial biases cites "a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that evidence specific to a defendant -- not statistics showing systemwide bias -- is necessary to challenge an individual's death sentence on a racial claim." (Melone, 1) This is to argue that an individual case evaluation, whereupon capital punishment is considered, should inherently protect against the permeation or ethnic, racial or geographical biases. Of course, in order to accept this argument, one must possess a certain degree of faith in the system itself as offering fair protections within the context of individual cases against prejudicial impulses.

However, most evidence suggests that the correlation between socioeconomic status and proclivity toward death penalty sentencing is far too high. Indeed, "most have contended that the death penalty is bad because it is poorly administered. In many jurisdictions, the argument goes, public defenders are incompetent." (Carlson, 1) In jurisdictions where this is true, allegations that public defenders are anything from incompetent and unprepared to sleeping through trial or defending while under the influence of drugs or alcohol denotes that those without the means to hire a fit attorney are at the mercy of a deeply unequal system. To the point, a recent "study found that those defendants whose representation was the least expensive, and thus who received the least amount of attorney and expert time, had an increased probability of receiving a death sentence." (DPIC1, 1)

This is to denote that the relationship between both race and socio-economic class and vulnerability to the death penalty suggests an arbitrary inequality that is absolutely unacceptable and steeped in a political system that is itself intolerable. This is only further magnified by the clear relationship between geographical location and this inclination. Based on the cultural and political tendencies which color different regions of the United States, one who is guilty of murder in one state may well receive a fully distinct treatment to that experienced by one in another state. Though all Americans are said to have a right to a fair trial, "ensuring this right falls, ultimately, on local jurisdictions, which vary wildly from one place to the next. Alabama, for example, has a state cap of $1,000 for out-of-court fees for defending a death-penalty case, while in Indiana the average expenditure on capital cases is $53,000. In some states, including Minnesota, Connecticut, Mississippi, Illinois and Indiana, the indigent-defense system is so inadequate that the state has been sued." (Gleick et al., 2)

This speaks to the core conflict discussed here. Capital punishment is discredited by the shortcomings already present in our legal system, which reflect as yet unchanged but archaic political imbalances. The fact that racial, economic and cultural prejudices define these shortcomings denotes that life is far too costly a sentence to impose under the political terms defining the United States.

Works Cited:

Carlson, T. (2000). Tucker Carlson: Death Penalty Deserves More Vigorous Debate. CNN. Online at http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/06/22/tucker.carlson/

DPIC. (2005). National Polls. Death Penalty Information Center. Online at

DPIC1. (2009). Financial Facts: Information on Costs of the Death Penalty from DPIC. Death penalty Information Center. Online at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

Gleick, E. et al. (1995). Rich Justice, Poor Justice. Time Magazine. Online at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983050-2,00.html

Melone, K. (2008). Death Penalty May Be Tested. Courant. Online at < http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-cthabeas0228.artfeb28,0,7990906.story>

identifying and rebutting two additional counterarguments

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited:

Carlson, T. (2000). Tucker Carlson: Death Penalty Deserves More Vigorous Debate. CNN. Online at http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/06/22/tucker.carlson/

DPIC. (2005). National Polls. Death Penalty Information Center. Online at

DPIC1. (2009). Financial Facts: Information on Costs of the Death Penalty from DPIC. Death penalty Information Center. Online at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty

Gleick, E. et al. (1995). Rich Justice, Poor Justice. Time Magazine. Online at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983050-2,00.html

Cite This Thesis:

"Death Penalty A Political Science" (2009, November 17) Retrieved December 6, 2019, from
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"Death Penalty A Political Science", 17 November 2009, Accessed.6 December. 2019,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/death-penalty-a-political-science-17412