Police Officer Murder Death Penalty Scenario The Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Term Paper Paper: #18585505 Related Topics: Murder, Issues In Policing, Police, Habeas Corpus
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Police Officer Murder Death Penalty Scenario

The case of 20-year-old Jesse James, who was recently arrested for the alleged murder of a police officer, is one which is sure to arouse the public's sense of righteous indignation, with friends, family and fellow cops demanding that James be tried, convicted and executed for his crimes. As a newly elected prosecutor charged with the unenviable task of handling this contentious case, it is important to remember the importance of statutory guidelines and legislative precedence as the case proceeds, because any errors will likely result in James utilizing the expansive appeals process to delay, and possibly overturn, a decision to impose the death penalty. Automatic appeals lodged in the Court of Criminal Appeals, direct appeals to the Supreme Court, Habeas Corpus reviews on the state and federal levels, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and petitions for Executive Clemency are all avenues which are open to anybody sentenced to death, so it is essential that the prosecution's case be predicated on both


While the 1960's saw a series of failed attempts to ban the practice, launched by death penalty abolitionist groups firm in their belief that murder can never be justified, it was not until 1972 that a majority of Supreme Court justices ruled to prohibit state-mandated executions. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a forum for informed discussion regarding capital punishment, "the issue of arbitrariness of the death penalty was brought before the Supreme Court in 1972 in Furman v. Georgia, Jackson v. Georgia, and Branch v. Texas (known collectively as the landmark case Furman v. Georgia (408 U.S. 238))" (DPIC, 2013). While the court previously ruled in Crampton v. Ohio and McGautha v. California that the application of capital punishment did not result in arbitrary and capricious sentencing, the 1972 Furman case challenged the Eight Amendment, whereas the McGautha case cited the Fourteenth Amendment's due process provision.

The choice to attack the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment, while preserving the original arbitrary and capricious sentencing argument, proved to be critical, as the court ruled in a hotly contested 5-4 opinion that that a punishment "would be 'cruel and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Death Penalty Information Center. (2013). History of the death penalty. Retrieved from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-i-history-death-penalty

Indiana State Government. (2011). Overview of Criminal Justice Procedure in Indiana. Retrieved on November 27, 2012 from: http://www.co.hendricks.in.us/departmentwebfiles/prosecutor/overview%20of%20crimin al%20procedure.pdf

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