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Grieving over lost loved ones wouldn't be as intense, it would be more like saying good bye to a loved one that you know you'll be seeing each other soon, rather than the thought that you may never be able to see them again.
Instead, with the uncertainty, each moment of life, for me, is precious. The self-inventory really brought this point home to me. This was especially true with the question regarding the 82-year-old, Alzheimer's patient who was internally bleeding, potentially fatally, and the level of care I would hope they received. I selected "An all-out attempt at rescue." Life, at any age, and no matter what disease the individual has, is a gift. ho should have the right to cut a person's life short, to judge its quality lacking? If there were no life after death, how cruel is it to snuff out a person's existence.
"Quotes: Death - science-in-society." New Scientist. N.p., 5 Oct. 2006. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. .
"White Light When You Die Actually Cascade of Brain Activity Dvorak Uncensored: General interest observations and true web-log.." Home Page of Columnist John C. Dvorak. N.p., 30 May 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2010. .
For Churchon, human beings are mere bodies, brimming with energy one moment and completely inanimate the next. This animating energy is the difference between life and death.
When animated, the body is more than just a body, it is the vessel for a person. The person has a particular personality, a history, a smile, and a laugh. However, when the body is inanimate, it is shown to be a mere object, an object that Churchon must preserve, package, and store away according to hospital protocol: "Whenever a baby died, I wrapped it in a blanket, and then, around the blanket, I wound a sky blue disposable pad. I took the football-sized package -- baby, blanket, and pad -- down to the morgue and opened the door of the refrigerator there and placed the package on the glass shelf as gently as I could." (Churchon, 2009, p. 44).
Churchon's focus on…
Bentley, T. (2009) "The Bad Lion." New York Review of Books (Nov. 5, 2009)
Churchon, J. (2009) "The Dead Book." The Sun (Feb, 2009) 43-45
Death With Dignity: A ight or Not?
The issue of "euthanasia" is a matter of great controversy today. It is often difficult to judge who the "right" to die under the influence of euthanasia without the "power of attorney" should be afforded. eligiously, one cannot predict the "miracle" of God in daily life. For a patient to live through feeding-tube for the rest of his/her life in the hospital or nursing home does not show any dignity to our beloved ones. This paper will examine the issue of death and dignity from the perspective that all patients deserve to die with dignity, but face many obstacles in doing so.
One of the more frequent arguments against voluntary active euthanasia in the media and in literature is that "the push for a legalized right to die with medical assistance is a radical movement" carrying with it "alarming implications" for society (Ballis…
Bachman, J.G. (1996). "Attitudes of Michigan physicians and the public toward legalizing physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia." New England Journal of Medicine, (334) [HIDDEN]
Ballis, P.H. & Magnusson, R.S. (1999). "The response of health care workers to AIDS
patients' requests for euthanasia." Journal of Sociology, 35(3):312
Datlof, S.B. "Beyond Washington v. Glucksberg: Oregon's death with dignity act analyzed from medical and constitutional perspectives." Journal of Law and Health, 14(1):23
Grief or loss can cause change -- force evolution, if you will, into the human ability for personal growth and self-actualization. Certainly grief is a human emotion; as much a part of us (Kubler-Ross, 2009). Psychologically, grief is a response to loss -- conventionally emotional, but also having physical, cognitive, social, philosophical, and even behavioral dimensions.
There are numerous theories about grief, some popularized, some scholarly, but all try to explain the "process" humans engender when dealing with loss. Even one of the more popularized, yet useful, theories, Kubler-Ross, though, states that the grief stages, "have evolved since their introduction, and they have been very misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss. There is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual…
He likes the power he is afforded with each new position and loves knowing he can crush others.
7. Does the narrator sympathize with Ivan's attachment to his possessions?
The tone of the passage (paragraph 104) is deeply empathetic. This entire portion of the story displays Tolstoy's sympathy and empathy for Ivan. Ivan is a reflection of every man who has placed all his interest in this world only to realize too late that he is not made for this world but for the other. Ivan's horrible attachment to his possessions is shown in order to illustrate for the reader the uselessness of forming such attachments -- yet it is not depicted satirically but with great insight, patience and understanding, even if it is at times critical.
8. What elements of a full life, what higher satisfactions, does Ivan's routine omit?
Ivan's routine consists solely of paying strict observance to…
In addition to some of the practical problems that the researchers might have encountered in collecting this data, such as potentially having to examine an inordinate amount of institutional or municipal records, there are some other issues with the original data presentation that the researchers would have needed to take into account. It is likely that some individuals born prior to current or at least fairly modern and accurate record keeping began incorrectly remembered and/or reported their ages prior to their deaths, which would have skewed the results of this research if not controlled for. It is also reasonable to assume that a simple clerical error could end up listing an individual as a male instead of a female, or vice versa, which would have a similar effect on the overall aggregate of data. As this data takes into account all of the reported deaths throughout England and Wales, however,…
On the other hand, it is much less clear what the presumed logical basis is of governmental intrusion into the choice to end one's life where that decision is made by a sane person who is not responsible for others.
In medicine, that dilemma arises only among patients whose choice to end life is motivated by the understandable desire to escape untreatable physical pain or discomfort.
In some cases, it is not necessarily pain per se that the patient, but physical or cognitive debilitation that patients wish to escape by authorizing their physicians to end their lives painlessly. Typically, Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable illnesses and congenital diseases that caused them more pain than they wished to endure until their natural death. All of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable conditions that either caused continual physical pain that could not be relieved by any medical treatment or they wished…
Humphry, D. (2002). Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying. Junction: Norris Lane Press.
Levine, C. (2008). Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Bioethical Issues 12th Ed. Dubuque Iowa: McGraw Hill.
Martindale, M. (2007). Kevorkian: Jail Reform Is His New Cause. The Detroit News, August 8/07.
Tong, R. (2007). New Perspectives in Health Care Ethics: An Interdisciplinary and Cultural Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Death in Thomas and Dickinson
In many ways, Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" and Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for death" are ideal texts to consider when attempting to examine human beings anxieties regarding death, dying, and the longing for permanence, because they make vastly different points in strikingly similar ways. That is to say, while they share some elements of form, style, and topic, the commentary they give on the topic could not be more different. As the title suggests, Thomas' poem is a vocal entreaty to struggle for every bit of life in the face of impermanence, while Dickinson's poem takes a positively lackadaisical approach to the concept of death, viewing it as a transition into immortality rather than a fall into obscurity and darkness. However, despite their nearly oppositional statements regarding death, one can actually view the two poems as…
Abbott, C.M. (2000). Dickinson's because I could not stop for death. The Explicator, 58(3), 140-
Brantley, R. (2007). Dickinson's signature conundrum. The Emily Dickinson Journal, 16(1), 27-
Cyr, M.D. (1998). Dylan thomas's "do not go gentle into that good night": Through "lapis lazuli"
Death and Immortality in Dickinson's Poetry
Death and Immortality in Emily Dickinson's Poems
Emily Dickinson was an American poet whose unique lifestyle and writing have helped to establish her as an important literary figure. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830 and died in the same town she lived her entire life in 1886. During her lifetime, despite her many attempts and multitudinous volumes of poetry written, only seven poems are believed to have been published during her lifetime, "all anonymously and some apparently without her consent. The editors of the periodicals in which her lyrics appeared made significant alterations to them in an attempt to regularize the meter and grammar, thereby discouraging Dickinson from seeking further publication of her verse" ("Emily Dickinson"). A recurring theme in many of Dickinson's poems, which were mostly distributed among her closest friends via personal correspondence, is that of death and immortality. These…
Dickinson, Emily. "Because I could not stop for Death." Poets.org. Web. 8 May 2012.
-. "I felt a Funeral, in my Brain." Poets.org. Web. 8 May 2012.
-. "My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun." Poets.org. Web. 8 May 2012.
"Emily Dickinson." Gale Contextual Encyclopedia of American Literature. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale,
Oliver and the other boys at the workhouse are also very nearly 'worked to death'.
Oliver is (again figuratively) 'scared to death', at that key moment in the novel that that turns out also to define his fate (the extra gruel request scene) when he is selected by the other boys at the workhouse for that most terrifying, unpleasant task. Then, moments after he asks, Oliver becomes equally scared that his still not-quite-to-be-believed question has now caused (so-to-speak) 'all hell to break loose' inside the workhouse, among the comfortably well-off, incredulous, poorhouse administrators. These well-fed individuals in fact cannot fathom, at all, how any boy so "lucky" as to be boarded and fed at their workhouse could possibly be so ungrateful as to request more than his daily starvation-level ration of gruel.
hen one day the boys draw lots to see who among them would be designated to ask for…
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. Gutenberg.org [online text]. Retrieved February
7, 2007, from: www.gutenberg.org/etext/730.html
Donovan, Frank. The Children of Charles Dickens. London: Frewin, 1968. 61-
Dunn, Richard J.. Oliver Twist: Whole Heart and Soul. Twayne's Masterwork
Death within MoralityMedical professionals are guided by a set of moral/ethical standards, which are centered on the idea of doing no harm. However, the medical world is faced with questions and controversies surrounding the issue of death. Generally, life and death are complex subjects or issues in the field of medical practice. There are controversies of whether keeping someone alive can actually be harmful and whether death can actually be a more ethical choice than life. These debates are fueled by the view that living long, happy lives seem to be the best thing. For medical professionals, determining when to keep someone alive or let them die remains debatable. Medical professionals face this dilemma given that the heart and function of philosophy is to prepare humans to die (Wassmer, p.759). While death is at the center of the human experience, death within morality is an impossibility.Overview of the IssueAs previously…
Eribo, NM, and MA Izibili. “Religion and Philosophy: The Value of Human Death: The Moral Perspective.” Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research, vol. 6, no. 1, 7 Oct. 2009, pp. 372–380., https://doi.org/10.4314/lwati.v6i1.46542 .
Fisher, Anthony. “Moral & Philosophical Dilemmas in Death & Dying.” EWTN Global Catholic Television Network, Eternal Word Television Network, Inc. , https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/moral--philosophical-dilemmas-in-death--dying-12094 .
Gupta, Kshitiz, et al. “The Notion of Morality of Death and Human Behaviour.” Journal of Statistics Applications & Probability, vol. 7, no. 1, 1 Mar. 2018, pp. 183–187., https://doi.org/10.18576/jsap/070116 .
A good example is the 1985 murder of convenience store clerk Cynthia Barlieb, whose murder was prosecuted by a district attorney bent on securing execution for Barlieb's killer (Pompeilo 2005). The original trial and all the subsequent appeals forced Barlieb's family, including four young daughters, to spend 17 years in the legal process - her oldest daughter was 8 years old when Cynthia was first shot, and 25 when the process ended without a death sentence (Pompelio 2005). During those 17 years, Cynthia Barlieb's family was forced to repeatedly relive her murder.
hen a person is murdered, it is understandable that American society demands justice, particularly on behalf of the victim's family and loved ones. But we can not advocate capital punishment under the guise of protecting the interests of victims' families, and then cut those members out of the process when they do not support the death penalty. and,…
American Civil Liberties Union (2002). "ACLU Praises Supreme Court Refusal of 'Sleeping Lawyer' Case as 'Acknowledgment and Reminder' of Death Penalty Problems." Retrieved Sept. 30, 2006 at http://www.aclu.org/capital/unequal/10466prs20020603.html .
American Civil Liberties Union (2002). "DNA testing and the death penalty." Retrieved Oct. 1, 2006 at http://www.aclu.org/capital/innocence/10392pub20020626.html .
Amnesty International (2006). "Death penalty." Retrieved Sept. 30, 2006 at http://www.amnestyusa.org/abolish/index.do .
Antonio, Michael E. (2006). "Arbitrariness and the death penalty: how the defendant's appearance during trial influences capital jurors' punishment decision." Behavioral Sciences & the Law. March 2006.Vol.24, Iss. 2.
" (illmott 2000) in other words, the reality of death is removed to the edges of culture and society; which means that the significance and reality of death is in effect 'anesthetized' by institutions such as the medicine and science. As Giddens states, death is avoided or excluded from common social life and from "…fundamental existential issues which raise central moral dilemmas for human beings." (Giddens 156)
This suggests that the taboo about death and its avoidance in the cultural discourse is linked to the structure and the composition of modern society and culture. There is a sense that death is seen as the pornography of the modern age. "Helmut Thielicke observed that death is coming to have the same position in modern life and literature that sex had in Victorian times." (the avoidance of death in our modern world)
If we analyze the sociological structure of modern society we…
"Death and Society." Web. 19 November
Giddens, a. Modernity and Self-identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age.
However, the reasons why people commit crime are as different as the individuals themselves. Intentional murder comes in two different flavors. The first is the carefully plotted, well thought out, planned act. In this scenario, motivational theory takes over. The person must feel that they will gain some type of value from the action. It may be that they gain something, such as money, or they may feel that eliminating a person will offer them some type of protection. In any case, the person justifies their actions through a perceived reward in the future (Horisch and Strassmair).
In the case of an intentional murder, the death penalty may deter the action. However, several conditions must be met for the fear of death to act as a deterrent. The person must feel that there is a significant possibility that they will be caught and punished for their crimes. In many cases,…
Murder cannot be a decried and yet practiced by the same entity without being hypocritical. Innumerable individuals on death row have been wrongfully convicted due to any number of reasons. The appeals of death row inmates sometimes never get heard. Those inmates who cannot afford to fight a good appeal are the worse off of all. Because DNA testing and more traditional forms of evidence can be used to reverse the death penalty, caution should be used when sentencing a citizen to death. Death is irreversible; life in prison is not. The families of the wrongfully convicted deserve such consideration.
Moreover, the death penalty is meted out unjustly to a greater number of poor, minority, and disabled population. Capital punishment reveals biases and flaws in the American judicial system. The death penalty is also extremely costly even though it would seem that killing a convict costs less than feeding one.…
ACLU. "Race and the Death Penalty." 2003. Retrieved Feb 21, 2008 at http://www.aclu.org/capital/unequal/10389pub20030226.html
Amnesty International. "Cost of the Death Penalty." Retrieved Feb 21, 2008 at http://www.amnestyusa.org/Fact_Sheets/Cost_of_the_Death_Penalty/page.do?id=1101084&n1=3&n2=28&n3=99
Bonner, Raymond and Fessenden, Ford. "States With No Death Penalty Share Lower Homicide Rates." The New York Times. 22 Sept 2000. Retrieved Feb 21, 2008 at http://www.truthinjustice.org/922death.htm
Death Penalty Focus. "Cost Studies." Retrieved Feb 21, 2008 at http://www.deathpenalty.org/index.php?pid=cost
As one performs their dharma, they earn karma, which is the cause and effect aspect of Hinduism. Karma explains good actions bring good results, and by obeying this principle and dharma, one can experience rebirth into a "better" life that puts one in a stronger position to achieve moksha. The ultimate goal for any Hindu soul is to achieve moksha, which is the liberation from samsara, the cycle of life and death (Chidester: 85). The critical aspect of Hinduism is realizing when the body dies, the Self (Atman) does not die. The Self is carried from life to life, through reincarnation, and the secret to death is to realize the Supreme Self hidden in the heart through meditation and grace (Kramer: 30). Realizing Self in Hindu customs is required to achieve moksha, and be liberated from the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth of samsara. Only when the Self…
Chidester, D. Patterns of Transcendence: Religion, Death, and Dying. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth Publishing, 2001. 1-216. Print.
Kramer, K. The Sacred Art of Dying: How the world Religions Understand Death. Mahwah, NJL
Paulist Press, 1988. 27-166. Print.
Evolution of the Death Penalty in Supreme Court Jurisprudence
Capital punishment has been in existence for centuries. As early back as the Eighteenth Century B.C., the use of the death penalty was found in the Code of King Hammurabi (Death Penalty Information Center [DPIC], 2010). The utilization of the death penalty for designated crimes continued through the years and became incorporated in Britain's penal system (DPIC, 2010). Britain's use of capital punishment carried over into colonial America (DPIC, 2010). Since that time, the death penalty has been a part of the American criminal justice system. However, its use has not been without strong opposition. This paper explores the Supreme Court cases exploring this controversial topic and discusses the evolution of jurisprudence on the subject matter.
Much of the legal support or opposition for the use of the death penalty has been at the state level. Where the death…
Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002).
Death Penalty Information Center. (2010). Part I: History of the Death Penalty. Retrieved November 17, 2010, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org /part-i-history-death-penalty
Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972).
Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976).
Death Penalty+ Annotated Bibliography
It has been theorized and even proven that many laws that are in place in America are the product of JudeoChristian religious beliefs, practices and writings, that have over the years been toned down to better meet the needs and standards of the U.S. society. here is a clear sense that some penalties for breaking the law have little if any effect on crime committed in the future, i.e. act as deterrents to crime and penalties for crime range from paying small fines to capital punishment. Opponents of capital punishment have always claimed that it does not deter crime while proponents have claimed that it does. Opponents have also claimed that the death penalty is a violation of the 8th amendment, cruel and unusual punishment and that it does not belong in any civilized society. Proponents on the other hand state that it is important to…
Tonry's book is a detailed and comprehensive look at racial disparity in the U.S. legal system. The work is troubling but based on serious inquiry and serious thought. In the work he discusses how many experts have convened over the years to determine that there is no reason to believe that capital punishment is more of a deterrent to violent crime that life sentences and yet the U.S. government is still alone among all Western nations to retain its legality.
Zimring, F.E. (2003) The contradictions of American capital punishment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Zimring's book is a fascinating discussion about the history of capital punishment in the U.S. with comprehensive look at the ebb and flow of the laws that entrench it and the many theories and contradictions that are embedded in it. He is also very effective at providing a relatively balanced look at just why in a social, political and legal sense that capital punishment exists today and especially at the manner in which it is applied, including an extensive look at why the appeals process is so vast and strict. His thesis is basically that the process is so "moral" and "ethical" because it is the stop gap effort of the nation to come to terms with why the death penalty is still on the books at all.
Indeed, the death penalty is one of the most divisive issues in the entirety of the criminal justice system as it currently exists within the United States of America. Although many polls do suggest that a majority of Americans ultimately do support the employment of the death penalty, it faces stern and strong opposition from a violent minority that radically opposes the death penalty for a variety of reasons, including the concerns that it is unfair for the state to deny an individual of his life, that it is racist in its employment, that it is more likely to be applied to defendants that cannot afford their own counsel, and that it is a terrible practice because mistaken executions are irrevocable and no fitting reparations can ever be made. Indeed, the concerns are so great that the United States Supreme Court even instituted a death penalty ban during…
Carlson, Margaret. "Don't Give Him the Satisfaction." Time Magazine. April 22, 2003.
Retrieved November 19, 2003, at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org /article.
Shapiro, Bruce. "Dead Reckoning." The Nation. August 6, 2001. Retrieved November 18, 2003 at
Capital Punishment: Does it Reduce Crime?
Capital Punishment is a social controversy that epitomizes the axiom "an eye for an eye."
In the United States there are 38 states that utilize the death penalty, and usually for select crimes, including treason, and mass murder. In 2002, 71 inmates were executed, which was 5 more than 2001, and of these 71 inmates, 53 were Caucasian, and 69 were male (Capital Punishment Statistics, 2003).
Capital Punishment has been in effect since the 1970s, despite cases and controversy that it goes against a person's 8th Amendment rights. Nevertheless, there has been changes in Capital Punishment laws and "in 2002 the Court barred the execution of mentally retarded offenders, overturning its 1989 ruling on the matter. In the same year the Court ruled that the death penalty must be imposed through a finding of a jury and not a judge" (Columbia, 2003). In 2002,…
Capital Punishment Statistics
Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2003.
Printable copy at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cp.htm
Study # 3667: Capital Punishment in the United States 1973-2000
Moreover, in Perry v. Louisiana, 498 U.S. 38 (1990), the Court used that decision to bolster Louisiana's attempts to forcibly medicate a prisoner in order to make him death-eligible. If one agrees that the death penalty is a just penalty for one who has committed a capital crime, and that the reason that mentally ill defendants should not be executed is because they lack competence, then it does not seem unethical to allow them to be forcibly medicated in order to be competent. After all, in that scenario, avoiding medication could be likened to any other attempt to avoid punishment. Moreover, an organic physical disorder that arose after conviction, but that would have prevented a defendant from committing a crime, would not be sufficient reason not to execute a person on death row.
However, forced medication, especially for court appearances, may violate a defendant's Fifth Amendment right to present a…
Bonnie, R. (2007). Panetti v. Quarterman: mental illness, the death penalty, and human dignity. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 5, 257-283.
Fentiman, L. (1986). Whose right is it anyway? Rethinking competency to stand trial in light of the synthetically sane insanity defense. University of Miami Law Review, 40, 1109-1127.
Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986).
Panetti v. Quarterman, 127 S. Ct. 2842 (2007).
This painting is David's masterpiece and one of the great curiosities of modern art because, by a strange feat, it has nothing trivial or vile. What is most surprising in this very unusual visual poem is that it was painted very quickly. When one thinks of the beauty of the lines, this quickness is bewildering. This is food for the strong, the triumph of spiritualism. This painting is as cruel as nature but it has the fragrance of ideals. Where is the ugliness that hallowed Death erased so quickly with the tip of his wing? Now Marat can challenge Apollo. He has been kissed by the loving lips of Death and he rests in the peace of his metamorphosis. This work contains something both poignant and tender; a soul is flying in the cold air of this room, on these cold walls, around this cold funerary tub.
As audelaire is…
Simon, Robert. 1991. David's Martyr-Portrait of Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau and the conundrums of Revolutionary Representation. Art History 14 (4): 459-487.
Vaughan, William, and Helen Weston, eds. 2000. Jacques-Louis David's Marat. Cambridge:
Racism is also a problem in the penal system. Furthermore, even if only one innocent person were sentenced to death it would be too many.
1. Perez's observations are most likely correct. Although whistleblowers perform an admirable and courageous act of public service, their efforts are thwarted by legal, political, and social obstacles. I fully agree with the author's observations but still believe whitleblowers are admirable. Whistleblowers should be encouraged to come forward because they ensure a more ethical society. Discouraging whistleblowing allows white collar crime to flourish.
2. Rob Perez claims that whistleblowers suffer consequences including social isolation that may outweigh the impact of their courageous deeds. Colleagues and coworkers cut off the whistleblower. A whistleblower is brought into the public eye, making it difficult for that individual to operate socially or in a business environment. A whistleblower might lose all his or her business accounts and contacts because…
[James fieser] We also have to assess the 'proportionality of happiness' factor in determining if capital punishment is justifiable in a particular case. That is to say that if the execution of a prisoner will save the lives of many people capital punishment can be approved in such cases. Let us for instance take the example of a captured terrorist or a suicide bomber. In this case it is fairly obvious that the destructive potential of these people would be greater and consequently their execution entails greater safety, protection and happiness for the society. Under these circumstances capital punishment stands clearly justified. Finally, the cost factor is also used by abolitionists in supporting their argument. While the legal cost of executions maybe high they are insignificant when compared with delivering justice.
The deontological theory on the other hand is concerned only with the rightfulness of an act irrespective of its…
1) James Fieser, "Capital Punishment," Accessed on 3rd June 2007, available at http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/c/capitalp.htm
2) Dudley Sharp, "Death Penalty as a Deterrent," Accessed on 3rd June 2007, available at http://www.dpinfo.com/death_penalty_as_a_deterrent.htm
3) Kenneth Cauthen, " Capital Punishment," Accessed on 3rd June 2007,
Available at, http://www.frontiernet.net/~kenc/cappun.htm
It is important to note that though the victim's family also does suffer, the accused could be somebody's mother, father, spouse or even best friend. In such a case, it becomes hard for many to come to terms with death as a form of punishment for a loved one. Thus though capital punishment may be viewed as a symbol of justice by the victim's family as well as friends, it surely does cause pain to the wrongdoer's family and friends who may have had nothing to do with the offense committed.
In recognition of opposing views, it is important to note that over time, those in support of capital punishment have often cited cost considerations. Here, they argue that through the long-term imprisonment of criminals, who would have otherwise been on death row, the government wastes funds which should ideally be used for other more worthy needs including but not…
Banks, C. (2004). Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. California: SAGE.
Gaines, L.K., & Miller, R.L. (2011). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Souryal, S.S. (2010). Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier.
Our prejudiced minds and clouded vision make us believe that all black men are criminals resulting in a twisted criminal justice system. Thomas Sancton (1991) reveals, "...blacks and Hispanics are proportionally far more likely to be sent to death chambers than whites; that poor defendants are condemned more often than rich ones; that the existence of the death penalty, despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, in fact has no deterrent value. The execution in some states of minors and retarded inmates is profoundly shocking to many people in the U.S. And abroad, as is the multiplicity of judicial errors that have sent innocent people to execution chambers or long terms on death row."
Regardless of what people have to say about death penalty, researches and unbiased studies have shown that this form of punishment doesn't serve any good purpose. It exists because society refuses to operate with compassion but revels…
1) Richard a. Posner, Capital Crimes., the New Republic, 04-01-2002
2) Thomas Sancton/Paris With reporting by James Graff and Gareth Harding/Brussels, Barry Hillenbrand/Washington, Christine Whitehou, a Matter of Life or Death the McVeigh case shows how differently Europe and America view capital punishment., Time International, 05-21-2001, pp 28+.
4) Eric Pooley Reported by Sally B. Donnelly and J.F.O. Mcallister / Washington, Sylvester Monroe/Atmore, Andrea Sac, Nation/Crime and Punishment: Death or Life? Mcveigh Could Be the Best Argument for Executions, but His Case Highlights the Problems That Arise When Death Sentences Are Churned Out in Huge Numbers., Time, 06-16-1997, Pp 31+.
5) the cruel and ever more unusual punishment. Vol. 351, the Economist, 05-15-1999.
In his novels he focused on characters, motivations, and reactions to the forces around his characters. He realistically examined Spanish politics, economy, religion, and family through the eyes of the middle class, addressing the cruelty of human beings against each another in his novels Miau and Misericordia. Galdos was called the conscience of Spain for his realistic observations of society with all its ills. (Columbia 2005) His plays were less successful than his novels.
In 1907 he became deputy of the Republican Party in Madrid. He went blind in 1912, but overcoming this tragedy, he continued to dictate his books until his death. Other works translated into English are Tristana (tr. 1961) and Compassion (tr. 1962) Outside Spain his Novelas Espanolas Contemporaneas are the most popular. Perez Galdos was elected to the "Real Academia Espanola" Real Academia Espanola (Royal Spanish Academy) in 1897. A statue of him was raised in…
The Academy of American Poets" Poets.org. 1997-2007. http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/348 .
Cole, Toby, (ed.). "Garc'a Lorca" in Playwrights on Playwrighting, 1961.
Hills, Elijah Clarence and Morley, S. Griswold, Modern Spanish Lyrics, New York: H. Holt, 1913.
Jehle, Fred F. Anthology of Spanish Poetry: A Collection of Spanish Poems, 1999. http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/poetry.htm.
Death Penalty Abolishment
On June 24th 2004 the Supreme Court of the State of New York determined that the state's jury instructions regarding the death penalty was unconstitutional; effectively abolishing the death penalty in New York. The specific case involved in this decision was the case of Stephan LaValle, who was "convicted of first degree murder and a jury sentenced him to death." ("People v LaValle") However, when his case was appealed to the New York Court of Appeals, LaValle argued that the deadlock instructions given to the jury were unconstitutional under the De Process Clauses of both the state and federal constitutions.
According to the state of New York's statute at the time, if a defendant was found guilty of first degree murder, the jury was then instructed to determine the sentence; either life without the possibility of parole or death. Whatever the jury decided, the decision must be…
Death penalty is the use of death as a punishment for the crimes committed by an individual. In most cases, death penalty is administered by lethal drugs or by electrocution. There has been a lot of debate on the moral and ethical aspect of issuing death penalty to criminals and many human rights groups are advocating the use of long-term imprisonment without parole (LWOP) as an alternative to death penalty. But, are they really justified in opposing the death penalty? In many cases, this justification is not valid as it leads to more crime and higher taxes for the society.
Death penalty has been present in the United States from colonial times. The first ever recorded execution was in Jamestown in 1608 and since then, it has been used as an effective tool of punishment (Supreme Court Debates, Dec 2004). With such a long history, it is no surprise that…
Soss, Joe; Langbein, Laura; Metelko, Alan. (2003). Why Do White Americans support the death penalty? Journal of Politics. 65(2), 397-421.
No author. (Dec 2004). The Death Penalty in America. Supreme Court Debates. 7 (9), 259.
Throughout the play, Willy longs for the wealth, privilege, and equality the America was alleged to have been built upon until he can no longer deny that the promises of the American dream are just an illusion. While this is without a doubt a scathing critique of capitalism, at the same time, the play seems to be trying to show that nothing is truly real and once you remove all of the 'bells and whistles.' In other words, 'real' people, just like the American dream, are a myth. No one is immune to putting on a 'front' for other people, but when the opinions of others dictate your life and your decisions, this is when the human soul begins to deteriorate. Willy Loman is the characterization of this corrosion.
The death of the American Dream portrayed in the play, as well as the constant comparisons between the rich and the…
Bloom, H. (1991) Willy Loman. New York: Chelsea House
Miller, a. (1998), Death of a salesman, New York: Penguin Books
Novick, J. (2003) Death of a salesman: Deracination and its discontents. American Jewish History 91(1), 97-107
During that time, I cannot recall mourning, but I cannot recall feeling much of anything else, either.
My grief returned more intensely than before at the graveside service.
Afterwards, I was exhausted by the emotional flood that I had experienced, but it is equally possible that the relief was more a function of all the energy that it had required not to release during the time between my father's death and his funeral. As powerful as the feelings of outright grief were some of the more unexpected feelings I began to experience in the next few weeks: feelings of anger at my father, anger at myself, shame, totally inexplicable feelings of hurt, and fear, and also relief.
A realized for the fist time, only weeks after my father's death, that I was angry at my father: angry that he'd refused the dialysis which could have prolonged his life; angry at…
Latour takes several steps to repair the damage done to the church by the moral misdeeds of rogue priests and, to a certain extent, the American and Mexican governments. Latour dispatches Valliant to Albuquerque and, in Valliant's travels, he performs sacraments and admonishes a priest for gambling with parish funds. Latour, for his part, helps rescue Magdalena from the abusive uck Scales and orders the founding of a girl's school - another important symbol of permanence and the church's commitment to the community. Latour also replaces Gallegos, a corrupt priest who drinks, gambles and left his parish in a "scandalous state," with Father Valliant (p.83).
Latour's house cleaning continues throughout the story, as he is determined to conquer the book's moral setting, as he conquered its natural setting. Perhaps Latour's greatest triumph is when he forces Father Martinez, who had become a "dictator to all parishes in Northern New Mexico"…
Cather, Willa (1962). "Death Comes for the Archbishop." New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell Without knowing that a ball turret is small place in a B-17, we would not understand the central metaphor analogizing the mother's womb to the ball turret, which is essential to understanding that the poem is about the contrast between the warmth of a mother's love and the cold dehumanizing treatment of the "State" where he is just another soldier.
Common Ground by Judith Cofer Before reading the poem, the title seemed quite self-explanatory, I figured the poem would be about finding common ground between people, and in a sense it is, but the message, after reading the poem, is much starker. It is more about the inescapability of aging, the common links that tie generations as the young get old and realize the commonalities they share with their parents.
Hazel Tells LaVerne by Katharyn Machan Knowing the fairy tale helps…
Statistics show that black murderers are far more likely than white murderers to get the death penalty, especially if the victim was white. Blacks make up 12% of the population but 40% of the population on death row, as noted. Georgia can serve as a case in point. Statistics show that a black man accused of killing a white person in Georgia is substantially more likely to receive the death penalty than a white person convicted of killing either a white or a black, and forty-six percent of the inmates on Georgia's death row are black, with most on death row for killing a white person. The situation is much the same in the 35 other states that have capital punishment. In Maryland, blacks make up nearly 90% of the prisoners on death row; in Illinois, 63%; and in Pennsylvania, 60%. The disparity nationwide is even greater when the race…
Aguirre, a., Jr., & Baker, D.V. (1991). Race, racism, and the death penalty in the United States. Berrien Springs, Michigan: Vande Vere Publishing.
Amnesty International (1999).. Killing with prejudice: race and the death penalty. Amnesty International, Pub. No. AMR 51/52/99. London: Amnesty International.
Baldus, D.C., Woodworth, Q., & Pulaski, C.A., Jr. (1990). Equal justice and the death penalty: A legal and empirical analysis. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Baldus, D.C., Woodworth, G., Zuckerman, D., Weiner, N.A., & Broffitt, B. (1998). Racial discrimination and the death penalty in the post-Furman era: An empirical and legal overview, with recent findings from Philadelphia. Cornell Law Review 83:1638-770
The Death Penalty should not be considered as something that people desire, but as a form of punishment whose purpose is to deter crimes from being committed. Those who support this form of punishment believe that this is the only way that society can make sure that people who consider committing serious crimes can be stopped. There is a strong sentiment that those who commit the kind of crimes that would warrant the death penalty should not be put into prison for life. It is believed that this still presents these people with the opportunity to offend again.
Anderson, David. (2008). Arguments for the Death Penalty. etrieved May 25, 2010, from Web
Death Penalty Arguments: Deterrent or evenge. (2001). etrieved May 24, 2010, from Web
Hinton, Patrick. (2009). The Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty. etrieved May 25, 2010, from Suite 101 Web site:…
Anderson, David. (2008). Arguments for the Death Penalty. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from Web
Death Penalty Arguments: Deterrent or Revenge. (2001). Retrieved May 24, 2010, from Web
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 society. Death is the most severe and permanent form of punishment American society has to offer. Mistakes and breeches of justice cannot be rectified. The most direct, simplest, and easiest way to eliminate the arbitrary factors in a form of punishment not essential to society is to remove that form of punishment. Justice is intrinsically unequal, so assigning it the responsibility of life and death decisions is unwarrantable. Stephen Nathanson writes,
To do away with punishment entirely would be to do…
Baird, Robert M. And Stuart E. Rosenbaum. (1995). Punishment and the Death Penalty. New York: Prometheus.
Bessler, John D. (2003). Kiss of Death: America's Love Affair with the Death Penalty. Boston: Northeastern University.
Kurtis, Bill. (2004). The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice. New York: Public Affairs.
Sarat, Austin. (2001). When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition. Princeton: Princeton University.
In contrast, other data, compiled by state and federal agencies within the last twenty years, failed "to demonstrate any deterrent value to the death penalty" and according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, "when states with the death penalty (were) compared to those without the death penalty," it was shown that "a majority of death penalty states have homicide rates higher than non-death penalty states" (Espejo 58).
The death penalty has also come under other criticism, especially in relation to executing innocent persons on death row in America's prison system. Of course, with the advent of DNA testing, many death-row inmates have been exonerated after tests revealed that they could not have been involved in their alleged crimes. Yet some death penalty advocates still believe that the possibility of executing innocent people does not justify the abolition of the death penalty. As Stephen Markman puts it, "the death…
Bedau, Hugo and Paul Cassell. Debating the Death Penalty. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Bidinotto, Robert. Criminal Justice?: The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility. New York: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996.
Espejo, Roman, Ed. Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime? Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson-Gale, 2003.
Pojman, Louis and Jeffrey Reiman. The Death Penalty: For and Against. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998.
The victim is unable to make peace with himself, say goodbye to his family or have his constitutional rights seen too. When a murder is committed, I believe that the perpetrator does not forfeit his rights, but rather some of the respect and convention which is usually given to a dying person. After all, what respect and convention was awarded to his victim?
Many of the states which currently allow the death penalty have victim services via the department of Corrections. The services which they provide range all the way from family support and counseling to the provision for family members of the victim to watch the execution should they so desire. This ability is limited state to state, however. It should also be noted that several of the victims services programs have been severely curtailed due to budget cuts, while the needs of the prisoner in the time surrounding…
John Paul II, Gospel of Life, the (Evangelium Vitae) (1995) Three Rivers Press
Quinto, Morgan "Murder Rate in 2001 National Rate = 5.6 Murders per 100,000 Population" Accessed via the World Wide Web on 17 May 2006 at http://www.morganquitno.com/cit01rank.pdf
No Author Cited "Illinois Suspends Death Penalty Indefinitely" January 30, 2000 accessed via the World Wide Web on 17 May 2006 at http://archives.cnn.com/2000/U.S./01/31/illinois.executions.02/
Prejean, Helen, CSJ. "Would Jesus Pull The Switch" Salt of the Earth. 1997 Accessed via the World Wide Web on 17 May 2006 at http://salt.claretianpubs.org/issues/deathp/prejean.html
Death Penalty II
The Death Penalty and the Bible
The Bible is an important and valuable book providing a wealth of information, and it should be used as a determination as to whether the death penalty should be chosen for certain, specific crimes, despite the often-cited issue of separation between church and state.
f. Other Crimes
The Death Penalty
ansom From the Death Penalty
The Separation of Church and State
The death penalty has been around since biblical times, during which it was commonly used for a number of offenses. It is important to point out, however, that these offenses were punishable by death, meaning that the death penalty could be used. That does not mean that it had to be used, and there was discretion available. Here, several common crimes will be looked at in the context of biblical death…
Anderson, B.W., Bishop, S., & Newman, J. (2006). Understanding the Old Testament. NY: Pearson.
Anderson, E. (2007). If God is dead, is everything permitted? In Hitchens, Christopher. The portable Atheist: Essential readings for the nonbeliever. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press.
Dershowitz. (2000). The Genesis of Justice. NY: Grand Central Publishing.
Freedman, D.N., Myers, A.C., & Beck, A.B. (2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. NY: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
The story investigates justice from different standpoints. Gerardo and Paulina have similar perceptions on how the military rule in the past had treated their society wrongly. However their perspectives vary in terms of how justice should be served. According to Gerardo, the efficiency of the commission he led was the best way to proceed. This would involve assessing all related human rights and letting the courts decide on a solution. Paulina was unsure of judges and their decisions considering their lack of support in the past seventeen years under a dictator. According to her, the pre-existing foundations of justice are not trustworthy enough. Making the final decision herself made more sense to her. The severity of what happened to her, guided her opinions. At one point when Gerardo tries to act reasonably rather than violently, she emphasizes how someone who did not experience any abuse himself does not have the…
Dorfman, Ariel. Death and the Maiden. Nick Hern Books, 1996. Print.
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 iblical 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 right to life as a sign of the decline of religion and the growth of secularization. This reflects the view that the growing opposition to the death penalty"… has gone hand in hand with a decline of faith in eternal life." ( Dulles)
The above discussion has outlined the two central arguments for and against the death penalty from a Catholic perspective. There is little doubt that this topic has also crested intense debate within the Church. This…
Dulles A. Catholicism & Capital Punishment. Sunday. 3 Oct. 2010
( http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0461.html ).
Gonzales A. Pro-life and Pro-Capital Punishment Contradiction in Terms? 3 Oct. 2010
( http://www.roman-catholic.com/Roman/Articles/CapitalPunishment.htm )
165). On page 166 Bannister points out that outside of China, the numbers show a decrease in individuals being put to death through capital punishment. In 2006, the number of reported executions dropped to 1591 from 2148 in 2005; also, since 1996 more than 30 nations have "put an end to this cruel and inhuman practice" (Bannister, 170).
The Chief Editor of Criminal Law Review, Chen Xingliang, writes that there is a consensus among the scholars that contribute to his publication; and those scholars "…are in favor of strict limitations on the death penalty in order to eventually abolish it" (p. 41). However, Xingliang admits that the "public understanding of the death penalty is quite different fro that of these scholars" (p. 42). That is because the "public support for the death penalty is formed with an irrational understanding and thus should not be a justified factor considered for…
Center for Individual Freedom. (2007). Death Penalty Deters Future Murders, According to Remarkable New Empirical Study. Retrieved Dec. 1, 2010, from http://www.cfif.org .
Bannister, Piers. (2008). The death penalty: UN victory puts total abolition within our grasp.
International Review of Law Computers & Technology, 22(1-2), 165-170.
DeathPenalty.com (2010). Does the death penalty deter crime? Retrieved Dec. 1, 2010, from http://deathpenalty.procon.org . (Muhlhausen, ACLU, Bert, Reno, Borg, Van Den Haag).
Therefore, even staunch proponents of capital punishment share the concern that it be (1) imposed only where extreme punishment is appropriate to the nature of the crime, and (2) applied in a manner that does not cause unnecessary pain or prolonged suffering. Assuming those elements are satisfied, capital punishment is warranted in certain situations.
The prospect of conviction in error is one of the strongest positions against capital punishment, precisely because the concept of valuing the preservation of the freedom of the innocent from wrongful conviction over the value of ensuring punishment for the guilty is fundamental to American justice. By extension, one could argue convincingly that protection against wrongful execution is even more important than wrongful criminal conviction in general. However, it is possible to establish more stringent standards of proof, judicial review, and myriad other conceivable procedural safeguards short of abolishing capital punishment altogether. Therefore, that approach would…
Dershowitz, Alan, M. (2002) Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York: Little Brown & Co.
Friedman, Laurence, M. (2005) a History of American Law. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hall, Kermit, L. (1992) the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.
Nowak, John, E., Rotunda, Ronald, D. (2004) Nowak and Rotunda Hornbook on Constitutional Law, 7th Edition (Hornbook Series). St. Paul, MN: West
The debate surrounding capital punishment is not as clear as one might think -- in fact, there is a great deal of gray within this debate. The actual definition is State controlled taking of a human life in response to some crime committed by a person who was legally convicted of that crime (Lacayo, 2009). Capital punishment has been part of human history, and currently 58 global nations actively practice it, 95 have abolished it, and the remained have not used it in over a decade (Amnesty International, 2010). Some scholars tout the view that capital punishment produces an extremely strong deterrent effect to crime that actually saves lives, is supported by the majority of Americans, and that each execution actually results in a statistically viable reduction in murders (Muhlhausen, 2007). As of 2010, however, Amnesty International categorizes most countries as abolitionist regarding the death penalty (Figures on…
REFERENCES and WORKS CONSULTED
Atkins v. Virginia (2002). U.S. Supreme Court 536 U.S. 304.
"Campaign to End the Death Penalty." (2010). NoDeathPenalty.com. Cited in:
"Capital Punishment, 30 Years On: Support, but Ambivalence as Well." (2006).
And such an event, unfortunately, is all too possible, as evidenced by a review done by Bedau and adelet in 1987. The authors used a variety of published and unpublished sources to locate information on potential capital cases in the United States during the twentieth century. Of the cases identified, Bedau and adelet found 350 persons who had been wrongfully convicted of potentially capital offenses between 1900 and 1985. Of these, 139 were sentenced to die (Haines, 1996, p. 87-88). Thus, it is evident that capital punishment can end up reflecting very poorly on a society that practices it, in more ways than one.
The other reason why capital punishment can be said to be socially unjust is because, all too often, it is imposed indiscriminately against the poor and underprivileged sections of society, who also lack the means of better representation. This fact has been addressed in a wide…
Borg, M.J., & Radelet, M.L. (2000). The Changing Nature of Death Penalty Debates.
Annual Review of Sociology. P. 43.
Fattah, E.A. (1981). Is Capital Punishment a Unique Deterrent? A Dispassionate Review of Old and New Evidence. Canadian Journal of Criminology. Vol. 23:3, p. 291-311.
Haines, H.H. (1996). Against Capital Punishment: The Anti-Death Penalty Movement in America, 1972-1994. New York: Oxford University Press.
What happens at this point is the issues are then prioritized, and the death penalty can potentially be considered less important than personal taxes, abortion, or whatever other issue the voter deems as important. This results in an extremely clouded concept of what the majority of the population actually supports in this country -- not just on the death penalty, but any issue. Ultimately this point of this argument, though not invalid in a humanistic point-of-view, is invalid because of its lack of solid, empirical ground to stand on. In fact, it is in danger of being ignored all together if we are to take a macrocosmic view of the country in terms of the constitution and the freedoms from religious policy that we enjoy. Of course if we take this point-of-view then we have to ask how we come to any decisions about our laws at all if not…
Comparative Studies Show There is No Effect. Econometric Models, In Contrast, Show a Mixture of Results. Why the Difference? And Which is the More Reliable Method?" Skeptical Inquirer Jul.-Aug. 2004.
Trollinger, William. "My Friend's Execution -- Witnessing an Execution Confirms
Feelings About Capital Punishment." Christian Century 11 Nov. 1998. A strong telling of the moral side of the debate against the death penalty. Also an intimate portrait of a Death Row inmate.
life imprisonment, we must follow common sense and assume that if one punishment is more fearful than another, it will deter some potential criminals not deterred by the less fearful punishment" (p. 282). In an effort to deconstruct the tenability of van den Haag's assertions, eiman takes the deterrent analogy to an extreme and suggests that the death penalty is insufficient and that death by torture would serve as an even more effective deterrent.
While some observers might suggest that this is precisely what is happening to internees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, eiman's extreme position concerning capital punishment does serve to highlight the moral and legal ambiguities involved in assessing the value of the death penalty for a modern society. Notwithstanding these moral and legal ambiguities, though, in the case of capital crimes, there is far too much at stake to allow such heinous acts to go unpunished, and…
Black's law dictionary. (1991). St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co.
Cahn, S.M. & Markie, P. (1998). Ethics: History, theory, and contemporary issues. New York: Oxford University Press.
Reiman, J.H. (2000). Justice, civilization and the death penalty. In White at 273-283.
A van den Haag, E. (1978). In defense of the death penalty: A practical and moral analysis.
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…
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
Capital punishment, also known as the Death Penalty, is a legal penalty enacted against a person who has been found guilty, via the judicial process, of committing a capital offense. his paper seeks to briefly introduce the history of the death penalty, and introduce current thought for and against the use of the death penalty in the United States.
he earliest record of an established death penalty law is found in the Code of King Hammurabi of 18th century BC Babylon, which allowed the death penalty for 25 crimes.[footnoteRef:1] One famous ancient examples of the death penalty can be found in the rial of Socrates who was sentenced to death, by consumption of hemlock, in a Greek court. In the United Sates, the first recorded legal execution was carried out by British soldiers in 1776 against Nathan Hale, a revolutionary War Solider, who was hung for treason. Hanging…
The rightness or wrongness of the death penalty has been a long held civil debate. Those who favor the death penalty ultimately believe that the death penalty is justified, i.e. It offers the victims and the state retribution for the crime committed. Since the punishment fits the crime it is fair and offers victims closure and a sense of justice. In addition, many believe that it is an effective deterrent to would-be killers. The belief that capital punishment deters crime was an underlining reason that criminals were crucified by Roman soldiers or drawn and quartered by English executioners. They believed that if the punishment was horrible enough, the criminal will think twice before committing a capital offense. Opponents believe that crimes worthy of capital punishment are committed under an array of circumstances unaffected by the sentencing standard.
Those who oppose the death penalty are often motivated by humanitarian issues. No doubt the humanitarian issues that are raised are numerous. They range from the question of cruel and unusual punishment, to disproportionate death penalty demographics for poor or minority defendants. One issue of great interest for those who support a moratorium on the death penalty is the increasing recognition that the court system is fallibility. Craig Haney, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, points out the many things that can, and do in fact, go wrong in death penalty cases which, in his opinion, creates a situation where defendant are not 'death worthy.' He cites cases where death row inmates are exonerated and notes that these cases are striking to public opinion and causes a second-look at the system. However, he moves forward with a more nuanced argument that defendants who are guilty of a crime endure many judicial errors which cause them to face harsher sentence than legally necessary. He writes, "The failure to follow these minimal standards is likely to continue to produce miscarriages of justice at the penalty phase stages of capital cases, resulting in wrongful condemnations that would have resulted in life sentences had competent counsel handled them."[footnoteRef:2] [2: Craig Haney, Exoneration and Wrongful Condemnations: Expanding the Zone of Perceived Injustice in Death Penalty Cases, Golden University Law Review [Vol 37], 9/17/2006, p.172]
The debate regarding the death penalty is both somber and complex. Both sides offer compelling arguments and ask thought provoking questions: How thin is the line between retribution and revenge? How can a punishment be both a) not "cruel and unusual" and b) severe enough to be a deterrent? Is the humanity of society compromised when an innocent man is executed? Is life in prison true justice for a criminal who has committed the most horrendous crimes in society? The answers may be allusive but the search in none-the-less noble.
Death Penalty -- Part One
"The Death Penalty Costs Too Much" -- George Sjostrom: The arguments presented by Sjostrom follow other similar lines of argument by those who oppose the death penalty. He doesn't take the ethical line or the line that putting a criminal to death doesn't deter crime. He is concerned with dollars and cents. And he alludes to the emotional price society pays for putting a person to death. It costs California taxpayers about $250 million to execute a felon (he bases that on the last 11 executions in California; it includes the cost of the trial, and the other long, drawn-out legal procedures, appeals, new trials) but it costs a lot less to just house a criminal who gets life without the possibility of parole. On top of the high cost of trial and legal fees, Sjostrom claims that there is a kind of "emotional purgatory"…
Although that case involved jury selection, the Court established a standard for alleging racial discrimination in prosecution. The Court held that the defendant has to show that he is a member of a cognizable racial group, that the prosecutor has acted in a manner having a discriminatory effect, and that the procedure in place allows those who choose to discriminate the leeway to do so. Once a defendant has established a prima facie showing of discrimination, the State then has the burden of proving race-neutrality. (Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 96-98 (1986)). The clear reasoning of the Batson decision would suggest that since Bass could show that he is an African-American, that African-Americans are disproportionately subject to the death penalty, and that the decision whether to charge a defendant with the death penalty is left to the discretion of the prosecutor, that he has established a prima facie case…
Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986).
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954).
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).
United States v. Bass, 2001 FED App. 0340P (6th Cir.).
Analysis of "The Death Sentence" by Sidney Hook
Sidney Hook's analysis of the capital punishment and its effect and implications in the society are outlined in his article entitled, "The Capital Punishment." In his article, Hook discusses the different perspectives wherein the debate over the implementation or abolishment of capital punishment is discussed. Hook contends that individuals and groups that favor the implementation of capital punishment tend to subsist to the 'retributive theory,' whose primary aim, according to Hook, is to "desire for revenge," and not justice, as what many proponents for capital punishment claim. Similarly, Hook also criticizes the proponents against the implementation of capital punishment, who are popularly called as the "Abolitionists." The abolitionists contend (against the pro-capital punishment groups) that capital punishment is inhumane, and society must give the criminal a chance to reform his/her self primarily because the criminal's behavior and acted may have…
The issue of whether capital punishment is justified in a civilized world that is progressively concerned with achieving human rights and dignity for all its citizens is a subject that challenges the very scales of justice. On the one hand, the imposition of the death penalty prematurely terminates a human life and precludes any chance of rehabilitating criminals as productive members of society. On the other hand, abolishing the death penalty implies endangering society with the presence of known, dangerous anti-social elements who may one day become eligible for parole or worse escape from prison. Thus, the scales need to be weighed taking into consideration that society's primary responsibility is to ensure that its honest and upright citizens are able to lead a secure and safe life. Indeed, it is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate that the scales of justice need to necessarily be tipped in…
Jacoby, J. "When Murderers Die, Innocents Live." The Boston Globe.
Sept. 28, 2003. Accessed Feb. 29, 2004: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/09/28/execution_saves_innocents/
Kane, G. "To murder victims' families, executing killers is justice." The Baltimore Sun. Feb.5, 2003. Accessed Feb. 29, 2004: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.kane05feb05,0,6385621.column
Murdock, D. "A sure way to prevent prison escapes." Mar 30, 2001.
Convicted wrongfully for the murder of a man by the name Delbert Baker, Juan Roberto Melendez-Colon spent more than seventeen years on death row awaiting his execution. His eventual release came after Mr. Baker's real killer confessed to the said murder. Now a free man, Melendez-Colon adds his voice to the call for the abolition of the death penalty. In his opinion, wrongful conviction cases cannot be resolved using DNA testing. In response to proponents of the death penalty who are somehow convinced that DNA testing could easily resolve persistent cases of wrongful conviction, Melendez-Colon points out that DNA "is quite limited because it is not present in the great majority of murder cases." To back up his assertion, Melendez-Colon observes that since 1973, only 17 of the 139 death row exonerations involved DNA. In his opinion, there is a huge amount of money that the…
Like Melendez-Colon, Philip Brasfield and Carl M. Cannon are also of the opinion that DNA testing cannot help resolve the inherent shortcomings of the capital punishment system. According to Brasfield, although post-conviction DNA testing has been of great significance in helping expose the fallibility of the said system, "DNA tests are useless in cases where no evidence is found at the crime scene." This statement effectively reinforces Cannon's assertion that DNA is largely irrelevant in a significant number of other cases including but not limited to non-rape cases. For this and several other reasons, the authors appear convinced that the execution of innocents cannot necessarily be prevented through the utilization of DNA evidence. In the opinion of both authors, the death penalty should be abolished so as to bring to an end the killing of innocents in the name of justice.
My Opinion on the Topic
It is highly likely that a significant number of people have been wrongfully convicted and subsequently executed since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty in the U.S. In my opinion, embracing the utilization of DNA testing (both pre and post-conviction) could help solve some of our capital justice system's fundamental flaws. Given that the said testing has in the past helped exonerate quite a number of death row convicts, its widespread utilization could help solve many more innocent lives. With that in mind, the federal government needs to further increase funding to programs that seek to enhance both the availability and quality of DNA testing. That way, we do not necessarily have to abolish the death penalty.
Death Penalty Viewpoint
There are contradictory viewpoints concerning the death penalty with some viewing it as needed for family closure in capital cases and others viewing it as an excuse where closure is not clearly defined in the arguments. There are also questions of whether the death penalty actually restores communities and families, whether it really serves justice, or whether it is actually a revenge for families and society. The similarity and differences in the viewpoints bring out points of victim complexity, clarity in the word meanings, and how families can be tortured in the probation hearings when offenders request probation review.
(Bandes, Susan) argues that there is no clear definition of closure or the justice system rights to obtain closure in arguments. She claims that some families have found closure if an offender takes responsibility for the crimes committed, but feels the justice system uses closure as an excuse…
Bandes, Susan, Viewpoint 6: The Death Penalty Does Not Fulfill Survivors' Needs for Closure
Stambaugh, Irl and Stambaugh, Gary, Viewpoint 5: Death Penalty Would End Punishment of Victim's Family
Death penalty has been a long-contested issue among States, legislators, policy makers, and individuals alike. So complicated is the issue that no two opinions appear to be the same. Indeed, the divergence of the various opinions extend to a variety of concerns within the death penalty and the Constitution themselves, including the fairness of capital punishment and decisions relating to it in terms of gender, class, race, and so on. One of the most prominent issues within the death penalty is probably mental illness and retardation. As pointed out by one of the authors to be examined below, the law prohibits imposing the death penalty for persons who are mentally incompetent. The question is, however, how many mentally incompetent persons in fact declare their incompetence?
The case Atkins v. Virginia involves Daryl enard Atkins, who was accused of abduction, armed robbery, and capital murder. After it was revealed that he…
Atkins v. Virginia
Human Rights Watch. Executing the Mentally Retarded is Unfair.
Tobolowsky, P.M. Chapter 9: Mental Health and the Death Penalty: Matters of Competency and Culpability.
Death Penalty: Right or Wrong?
For some time I have believed that the death penalty is a necessary part of our legal system, for the protection of society as a whole. In forming this opinion, I looked at Ted Bundy, who was convicted of monstrously killing four college sorority sisters and a 13-year-old girl he happened upon while she was walking home from school. He held the poor 13-year-old girl for several days in a deserted pigsty in the hot scrub woods of northern Florida before finally killing her. Some authorities think that he may be responsible for over 100 murders, and not the thirty or so he admitted to before his death. Ted Bundy tried to negotiate his way out of being put to death by hinting that the police could clear a lot more murders, but that he would only talk if his death sentence were reversed. Authorities…
In the heat of battle, George stands up and allows himself to be killed. He thus becomes a "hero" for his hypocritical "loved ones" at home to mourn.
The first major theme of Death of a Hero is the hypocritical attitudes and immorality of the Victorians. Much of the prologue and the first two parts of the novel are dedicated to a savage, bitter portrayal of Victorian middle class life in England, from the 19th century up to the First orld ar. The individuals in these sections are portrayed in such a severe fashion, that the inevitable conclusion drawn is that life in this society was so stifling and unbearable that it spurred a lot of idealistic young men such as George to go to war as a means of escaping it.
The third part of the novel takes place during the war itself, and allows Aldington to explore his…
Aldington, Richard. Death of a Hero. New York: Covici-Friede, 1929.
The research shown to the Supreme Court suggests just the opposite about them (Liptak, 2005).
Third, evidence shows that many teens in jail for serious crimes have significant mental health problems. Representative Henry Waxman (D) of California noted that in his state, one of the most populous in the country, there is little competent psychiatric help for youthful offenders who are incarcerated. He and his staff found that hundreds of teens held in California services were not getting the mental health services they desperately needed (Author not stated, 2005). 70% made suicide attempts while incarcerated, and nearly 75% attacked others (Author not stated, 2005). In spite of such clear evidence of instability, nearly six out of ten California facilities lacked staff with mental health training. Youthful offenders, meanwhile, had a wide range of diagnoses including not only substance abuse but AD/HD, retardation and learning disabilities (Author not stated, 2005). These…
Author not stated. 2005. "Mentally ill California youth await treatment in detention." Child Protection Law Report, Feb. 11.
Liptak, Adam. 2005. "Too young to die?" New York Times, Feb. 14.
Yen, Hope. 2005. "Supreme Court strikes down death penalty for juveniles." AP Worldstream, March 1.
Death is a reality all human beings face. The industry of death care is therefore in the dubiously fortunate position of always being in business. This does not however mean that marketing and public relations are not important. Because of the rising demand for services, the funeral industry has become extremely competitive. This, along with the fact that death and grief should be handled with extreme sensitivity and care, makes public relations a very important part of the funeral home's business.
A further important point regarding the death industry is social, value- and economic change. A funeral home should remain aware of the latest changes in all social areas, and be willing to accommodate their customers with regard to their personal preferences. In society today for example many people prefer to be cremated for a variety of practical as well as spiritual reasons. Funeral businesses should therefore be aware of…
Blair, Gavin. (2003, April). Buzzing on brands: never has image made so much difference in business. In Japan, Inc., Japan, Inc. Communications. Database: FindArticles.com
Brown, Monique R. (1999, March). Preparing for the hereafter - funeral planning. In Black Enterprise, Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc. Database: FindArticles.com