The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that people convicted of crimes should not be subject to excessive bail or fines, and that authorities may not inflict 'cruel and unusual punishments' (Eighth Pp). Ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, this amendment has been cited as an argument against capital punishment (Eighth Pp). In the 1972 United States Supreme Court case 'Furman vs. Georgia, three men who were sentenced to death argued that the death penalty violated their Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and the Court ruled that the death penalty was cruel and unusual in this case because it was not applied fairly or objectively (Eighth Pp). This decision affected six hundred people already on death row and since then, several states have adoped new laws to prevent arbitrary use of the death penalty (Eighth Pp).
In 2002 United States District Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that the 1994 Federal Death Penalty Act had created a system that "is tantamount to foreseeable, state-sponsored murder of innocent human beings" (Bowles Pp). Rakoff said that too many innocent people have been executed in state-court jurisdictions around the country (Bowles Pp). Rakoff, believed to be the first federal judge to rule the law unconstitutional, said that recent studies of death penalty cases in state court indicate that "innocent people are sentenced to death with materially greater frequency than was previously supposed...Convincing proof of their innocence often does not emerge until long after their convictions" (Bowles Pp). Defense attorney Gerald Shargel hailed the ruling as "enormously bold but obviously correct" and added that it had been learned "with disturbing frequency that innocent people have faced execution" (Bowles Pp). "Rakoff found that evidence often collected decades after the crime, including...
Under the Federal Death Penalty Act, capital punishment is permitted in cases "involving murder to benefit a drug-dealing conspiracy, murder of a witness, murder in aid of racketeering and terrorist murder" (Bowles Pp).
As of mid-2002, 76 countries had entirely abolished the death penalty, including the members of the European Union, while several other countries retained capital punishment only for treason and war crimes (Capital Pp).
Many countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia are among those who retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes, while the United States and China are believed to impose capital punishment most frequently (Capital Pp). Today, thirty-eight states and the federal government have reinstituted the death penalty (Capital Pp).
Numerous studies have shown disparities in the practice of capital punishment, such as the fact that it is most likely to be used if the victim is white and the defendant is black, while it is least likely imposed if both victim and defendant are black (Capital Pp). The use of DNA fingerprinting to exonerate persons falsely convicted of rape and other crimes also has led to for the reexamination of the use of an ultimately irreversible sentence (Capital Pp). In 2002, Illinois governor George Ryan commuted the sentences of all the state's death row inmates, saying that conviction errors and unfair imposition make capital punishment "arbitrary and capricious" (Capital Pp).
Van den Haag, Ernest. "The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense." Copyright
1986 Harvard Law Review Association
Greenberg, Jack. "Against the American System of Capital Punishment."
1986 Harvard Law Review Association
Eighth Amendment. The Hutchinson Dictionary of World History; 1/1/2002; Pp.
Bowles, Pete. "Strike at Death Penalty / Judge, citing wrongful executions, rules it unconstitutional." Newsday; 7/2/2002; Pp.
Capital punishment. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition; 4/22/2004; Pp.
Capital Punishment in the United States Capital punishment is one of the comprehensive, but debatable punishments given to criminal offenders in the U.S. And many other nations across the globe. Capital punishment involves the issuance of the death penalty because of committing serious crimes like crime in the society. Capital punishment has received tumultuous public support touching both ends of the society with its authorization in thirty-seven American states. It is
From 1977 to 2007, the number of death sentences per capita was as follows: Alabama .89, Oklahoma .818, Mississippi .558, Nevada .546, Delaware .497, North Carolina .481, Florida .463, South Carolina .422, Arizona .412, Arkansas .399, Texas .379, Louisiana .342, Missouri .313, Pennsylvania .277, Ohio .270, Tennessee .270, Idaho .267, Georgia .236, Illinois .233, California .219, Kentucky .193, Virginia .192, Oregon .184, Indiana .148, Nebraska .147, Wyoming .134, Montana
Death Penalty This informative speech outline topic DOES THE DEATH PENALTY DETER CRIME? The outline detailed 4 APA references. It follow format detailed referenced. Please outline tornadoes OUTLINE FOR INFORMATIVE SPEECH Tornadoes Purpose: To inform audience tornadoes Thesis: Today I discuss fascinating facts tornadoes. To inform the audience about the two sides of the debate on the death penalty, regarding its justice and its deterrent effect. The death penalty is one of the
Death Penalty An on-going Debate on Ethics and Morality The debate on whether the death penalty, or capital punishment, should be utilized in the United States is best seen in the varied laws that exist within each state. For this reason, many states, most of which are in the northern parts of the country are against capital punishment, while many southern states support this kind of a law. The U.S. map is
The debate over the death penalty remains and the Supreme Court will most likely be asked decide such cases for years to come. Summary and Conclusion The purpose of this discussion was to examine several landmark Supreme Court cases and explain the evolution of capital punishment jurisprudence from 1972 to the present. The research focused on the cases of Furman v Georgia, Woodson v. North Carolina, Gregg v Georgia, McCleskey v
The death penalty may exact a high cost but so does remaining behind bars for life imprisonment (Haag 1986). But righting wrongs in a society has a higher option than entailing the costs. Penalties are also acts of social retribution to restrain personal or private vengeance aimed at vindicating the law and social order, which has been injured or violated by a crime. Proponents or advocates of the death penalty