Through which he concluded that each execution prevents around seven or eight people from committing murder (Worsnop 402). In 1985, an economist from the University of North Carolina by the name of Stephen K. Layson published a report that showed that every execution of a murderer deterred eighteen would be murderers (Guernsey 68). While the numbers from these studies seem quite low as compared to the large number of murders committed every day in the United States, the numbers become quite large when discussed in the terms of every year executions. (Guernsey 65)
The opponents of capital punishment here give different points which are also quite true. According to the critics of capital punishment many of the people who commit acts of murder are either retarded or are immature. Capital punishment doesn't have an effect on the youth and immature people. As Richard L. Worsnop writes in his article entitled…… [Read More]
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 punishment as a deterrent is whether to continue the death penalty because the findings are inconsistent or to stop it for the same reason. Researchers Radelet and Borg (2000), in fact, say that the findings impact how Americans perceive the death penalty. They showed how the conclusions of the research over the past several decades have influenced the debate pro-or con capital punishment. Their literature review in relationship to historical events "suggests changes in the nature of death penalty debates…… [Read More]
Likewise, I believe that statutes of limitations might need to be lengthened or even eliminated so that older sex offence cases can be brought to trial.
In Florida, as in other states, death row inmates spend inordinate amounts of time awaiting their final sentence: execution. The average wait time in the Sunshine State is fourteen years; many inmates will wait even longer than to meet their final day on earth. Remaining in prison for so long is not only costly for taxpayers; it poses an emotional and psychological trauma for any potentially innocent death row inmates. One way that appeals processes can be sped up is by channeling further funds into the public defense system. Monies freed up by housing the innocently convicted in jail could be better spent on improved appeals processes. When attorneys have all the resources they need, appeals processes will be far faster and more likely…… [Read More]
Death Penalty Is Wrong
It is often suggested that morality comes from a venerated source - from reason, or from God (Wheatley & Haidt, 2005). Judgments on the basis of morals are important, complex, and intuitive. Moral judgments thus become particularly fertile foundations of motivated reasoning (Ditto, Pizarro, & Tannenbaum, 2009). In view of this respected observation, we chose to develop a broad-based questionnaire based on morality institutional regimens. This has been necessitated as Morality does not have the same rigors as that of logical and reasoning assiduity. The essence of Morality and post hoc deliberations are relative and affect combined societal percepts. There has always been a quandary about the rights of a person when posited in opposition to another. "The consensus view in moral psychology has been that morality is first and foremost about protecting individuals"-- (Graham, Haidt, & Nosek, 2009). Thus, quandaries arise out of morality being…… [Read More]
Costs associated with Supermax Prisons
Most of the Supermaxes in the United States are brand new or nearly so. Others are simply free-standing prisons that were retrofitted. "According to a study by the Urban Institute, the per-cell cost of a Supermax is about $75,000 annually, compared to $25,000 for each cell in an ordinary state prison" (Ross, 2006). The supermax models emerged out of the prison violence of the 1970's and the early 1980's, when dozens of guards around the country, were murdered by prisoners. First, prison authorities developed procedures to minimize inmate-staff contact. Then they took to locking down entire prisons for indefinite periods, keeping inmates in their cells all day and closing down communal dining rooms and exercise yards. Eventually, they began to explore the idea of making the general prison population safer by creating entirely separate high-tech, supermax prisons in which the worst of the worst would…… [Read More]
Regardless of social status, defendants who are poorly represented by their attorneys are more likely to receive death sentences than those who are zealously represented by counsel. (in Opposition to the Death Penalty: Arbitrariness and Discrimination, 2004). While death penalty opponents cite the fact that an Alabama woman whose attorney was so drunk during her trial that the trial judge held him in contempt had her death sentence upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court as a reason to abolish the death penalty, that same incident could just as easily be used as a reason to overhaul the legal system, not abolish capital punishment (the Lack of Competent Legal Counsel, 2004).
One of the most controversial arguments regarding the death penalty is that the imposition of the death penalty is a violation of human rights. Opponents of the death penalty cite the very "different"-ness of death as a reason that it…… [Read More]
From the beginning of a capital punishment trial, the focus of the legal process is on the perpetrator's rights. If found guilty of the crime for which he or she stands accused, and once the death penalty sentence is imposed, the subsequent legal processes and efforts continue to be focused on the perpetrator's legal rights, but gain the added dimension of his or her human rights. The victim and the victim's surviving family members' rights exist only during the investigation of the crime, when the focus is to bring the perpetrator to justice. Justice, however, is structured to protect the perpetrator's rights; the victim's rights cease once the case goes to trial. Each death sentence becomes a new argument against capital punishment by opponents of the death penalty whose advocacy is relentless. Abolitionists argue for life imprisonment, but the prison system in the United States is a system…… [Read More]
This paper examines the death penalty as a deterrent and argues that states have not only the right but the duty to apply the death penalty to criminal cases because it is incumbent upon states to back the law with force. The death penalty acts as a forceful and compelling consequence for those who should choose to violate the law and commit murder. For that reason it can be said to be a deterrent. This paper also examines the opposing arguments and shows that those would say it is not an effective deterrent cannot offer any quantitative proof for this argument because no measurements exist that could possibly render such a claim factual or provable. The paper concludes by showing that the death penalty should only be administered in states where there is harmony between social justice and criminal justice.
While it may seem ironic that the death…… [Read More]
In the city of New Orleans, murder is an epidemic; one cannot watch a local news program or read a newspaper without hearing of another murder. The deaths and their attendant toll on families and loved ones are devastating, but the impact is not limited to the victims. Instead, this epidemic of murder impacts the entire community; the murders demonstrate a lack of respect for the value of human life, as well as a callous disregard for the rule of law. The justice system appears to be broken, and it appears that people commit murder without considering the morality of their actions or feeling the real-life consequences to them if they are caught. The disregard for the law can be understood when placed in context; even murderers who are caught, prosecuted, and convicted of their crimes tend to serve marginal sentences before being returned to the community to…… [Read More]
I would set aside the death sentences imposed as violative of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments." ("Top 10 Pros and Cons," 2012) This is significant, in showing how the use of the death penalty is considered to be a violation of the basic civil rights that are provided to everyone.
Conclusion of why we should abolish
The main reason why opponents are arguing that the death penalty should be abolished is based on: the right of the government to take life and it is violation of the principles of democracy. These basic ideas are directly associated with the ethical theory of deontology. This is when an action is judged based upon how it is applied to society's rules. Given the fact that America is based on freedom and the right to life means that the death penalty is going against these basic provisions. This is important, in showing how the…… [Read More]
Capital punishment is a controversial topic because it involves the taking of a human life as a punishment. Traditionally, Judeo-Christian and other mainstream religions strictly prohibit killing because they regard the matter of giving and taking of human life as exclusively within the jurisdiction of God and never something that is appropriately executed by the operation of human decisions or judicial determination.
In modern times, secular society has recognized several other equally important conceptual objections to relying on capital punishment within the framework of crime control and punishment.
Specifically, there may be good reason to believe that the death penalty has, historically, been applied unequally to offenders of minority communities and to members of society who lack the necessary means to secure their legal rights to their fullest extent by virtue of poverty. Moreover, despite the often-cited proposed justification that the death penalty provides an effective deterrent to…… [Read More]
Research reveals that those who kill white victims are much more likely to receive the death penalty than those who kill black victims. One study found that for similar crimes committed by similar defendants, blacks received the death penalty at a 38% higher rate than all others (Dieter, 1998).
It is significant to note that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed on men than woman. Death sentences and actual executions for female offenders are rare in comparison to such events for male offenders. Woman account for 10% of the murder arrests, 2% of the death sentences imposed at the trial level, 1.7% of the persons presently on death row, and 1% of the persons actually executed since 1973 (Streib, 2010).
States vary enormously in the quality of representation they provide to indigent defendants. The quality of legal representation is related to the arbitrary application of the death…… [Read More]
There are many situations and concerns in the world that require using ethical thought. There are many issues we read about an learn about when we have to ask ourselves what we believe in. Which side do we take on euthanasia or abortion or sexual morays? It is the responsibility of all people to explore these issues so that their opinions are education and well-informed. It is the lazy individual who formulates their opinions on innuendo and rumor. What is ethical? What is moral? What is right? What is good? It is everyone's responsibility to ask themselves these questions and formulate their own answers to these extremely important issues. Perhaps one of the most controversial topics for debate is over the ethical right of the death penalty. Some feel the penalty to too severe and inhumane. Others feel the penalty is just and not used often enough. How…… [Read More]
public to scholars, the death penalty has come under severe criticism in contemporary epoch. The debate between the supporters and criticizers of capital punishment has been going on for decades. Is death penalty constitutional? What are the factors that may render it unconstitutional? Is racial discrimination one of such factors?
The paper uses a set of law review articles and highlights racial discrimination in death penalty in United States, discusses different theories with regard to the racial bias question and explores the debate of racial bias pervading the American judicial system to question the constitutional basis of death penalty.
A lot of research has been conducted on racial discrimination in courts. All this research can be classified in terms of a societal or an individual perspective. Gibson discusses these two approaches on racial discrimination. The first approach can be attributed to sociologists who believe that courts can not remain neutral.…… [Read More]
One is most deterred by what one fears most. From which it follows that whatever statistics fail, or do not fail, to show, the death penalty is likely to be more deterrent than any other.
If it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to prove statistically, and just as hard to disprove, that the death penalty deters more from capital crimes than available alternative punishments do (such as life imprisonment), why do so many people believe so firmly that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent?
Some are persuaded by irrelevant arguments. They insist that the death penalty at least makes sure that the person who suffered it will not commit other crimes. True. Yet this confuses incapacitation with a specific way to bring it about: death. Death is the surest way to bring about the most total incapacitation, and it is irrevocable. But does incapacitation need to…… [Read More]
death penalty and minors - recent Supreme Court finding
Death Penalty was extensively applied in the olden times across the world. The modern crusade for banning of capital punishment started in the 18th century with the writings of Montesquieu and also Voltaire. Some of the nations which took a lead in abolishing capital punishment are Venezuela in 1863, San Marino in 1865 and Costa Rica in 1877. Presently, more than 50% of the countries of the world have abolished the death penalty either by way of legal enactment or practice. The U.S. Supreme Court quashed state death penalty laws. But again in 1976, the Court restored the death penalty following the espousal of new procedures. Since 1982 till 1999, 250 to 350 persons were sentenced to death every year, however, in the last three years; the number of death sentences has come down remarkably. Among the 50 states, 13 states…… [Read More]
Today, the United States is virtually the only remaining industrialized and democractic nation in the world to apply the death penalty, although a few other countries have the options on their books but the punishment is rarely enforcement. The heated debate over the efficacy of the death penalty continues, and the arguments on both sides of the issue are charged with emotion and some convincing evidence in support of their respective views. There are some very compelling reasons, though, to retain the death penalty as a last-resort punishment for some criminals. Despite criticisms of the practice to the contrary, this paper will demonstrate the death penalty is based on solid historic and legal justification, absolutely prevents violent criminals from ever reoffending again, and provides families of murder victims with the closure they desperately need to resume their normal lives.
Review and Discussion
Executed Criminals Cannot Reoffend
Despite criticisms…… [Read More]
Not only does that solution clog the prison system with additional inmates, it adds tremendously to prison costs. Housing just one death row inmate for 20 years could cost over $600,000, and that does not include inflation and other rising cost factors. Thus, keeping inmates on death row simply adds to the taxpayer's costs and creates additional crowding in prisons that are already reaching the breaking point in inmate capacity.
Many studies also indicate that capital punishment is a strong deterrent in violent crimes. Two authors note, "A leading national study suggests that each execution prevents some eighteen murders, on average" (Sunstein, and Vermeule). Thus, the most heinous criminals are being punished for heinous murders and crimes. They are punished for their actions, but their executions also save other lives that might be taken if they returned to their streets. Opponents say these criminals would remain behind bars for the…… [Read More]
Additionally, although Uniform Crime Reports states that women are responsible for approximately 15% of all criminal homicides, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that they only comprise 1% of all death row inmates. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, more than 33% of these women were sentenced to death for killing their abusers. Equally disturbing is the fact that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 10% of those convicted in capital cases were could afford to hire their own attorneys. Because of the disparities with which the death penalty is applied, the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, in a vote of 280 to 117, issued a request for a suspension on all executions because they believed the system in place was "a haphazard maze of unfair practices" (The New York Times, 1997, A 20).
Perhaps the most popular argument…… [Read More]
Hanging, for example, can sometimes produce horrendous results: if the drop is too short, it results in slow and agonising strangulation; if it is too long, it may tear the head off. Electrocution too, at times, fails to kill instantly and the awful stench of burning flesh that follows the process is indicative of the excruciating pain suffered during the killing.
Another reason why capital punishment is wrong is because death is irreversable, human justice is fallible and criminal proceedings would always be prone to errors. There have been several cases of sentencing to death before evidence proving their innocence was uncovered. Since 1973 alone, 119 people in 25 USA states have been released from death row when evidence of their innocence came to light. ("Capital Punishment" Wikipedia) Others, not so lucky, have been executed before evidence clearing them was discovered. James Adams, a Black American, who was executed in…… [Read More]
The immunities are spying, sedition and drug trafficking in huge quantities. Soon after two years, in reply to the Oklahoma City Bombing, President Clinton signed the anti-terrorism and effectual death penalty law in 1996. The acts which have an effect equally on state and federal criminals limited the evaluation in federal courts by setting up even more strict file targets, restraining the chance for evidentiary inquiries and customarily permitting no more than a single habeas numbers of filing in federal court. (Tom Streissguth, October 1, 2002). However, in about 1970s, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) represented more then ten million conventional Christians and forty seven denominations. Secondly, the ethical majority were along with the Christian cluster supporting the death penalty. In the present days, fundamentalist and Pentecostal churches give support to the death penalty, mostly on biblical basis, particularly quoting the old testimonies. Even though, typically also a follower…… [Read More]
We should be thankful for this amazing technological development," (Hatch, 2000).
The death penalty must be altered, not abolished. In all new cases, if DNA evidence is not provided as conclusive for the conviction of the arrested, then capital punishment should not even be a consideration. There are already appeals processes in place for those who presently serve on Death Row, and in many of these cases, the inmates have pleaded for DNA testing. This should be executed on a case-by-case basis, pending the jurisdiction of the local judicial system. It was found in the research for this analysis that many of the authors who approve of using DNA testing for exoneration, oppose DNA evidence that has been presented during the time of trial. Much like those who oppose the death penalty and those who support it, there will be continued debate over this new science, which is offering legendary…… [Read More]
death penalty is a deterrent to murder. The death penalty deters murder by putting the fear of death into would be killers. A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harm will come to them. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact that if the killer is dead, he will not be able to kill again.
Although, opponents of the death penalty argue that putting criminals to death does not deter murder, there is clear evidence that murder rates are when there is a death penalty. During the temporary suspension on capital punishment in the United States from 1972-1976, murder statistics across the country demonstrated an increase in murder rates. In 1960, there were 56 executions in the United States and 9,140 murders. By 1964, when there were only 15 executions, the number of murders had risen to 9,250. In 1969,…… [Read More]
Having a death penalty in the United States doesn't make sense. We are the only civilized Western nation that still has it (Clark et al., 2004). Other nations consider the death penalty immoral and opposed to democratic principles because it allows the government to kill citizens, which violates fundamental human rights and increases the likelihood of tyranny. As a punishment for crime, the death penalty cannot be administered fairly or impartially in our criminal justice system ("Innocence and the Death Penalty," 2005). Some of the people who get executed are innocent (Hall, 2003). From a practical standpoint, the death penalty is an expensive and ineffective way to control crime (Sherrill, 2001). The death penalty should be abolished in the United States.
We did not always have the death penalty. During the 1950s and early 1960s most Americans were against capital punishment and those in favor of it were…… [Read More]
Moreover, it is not necessarily even clear that capital punishment through humane means is worse than life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The many prisoners who choose not to appeal their capital sentences and (especially) those who purposely commit capital offences while incarcerated for the express purpose of qualifying for capital punishment provide evidence that life imprisonment may be comparable in "harshness" to the death penalty.
With respect to the issue of mistaken prosecution, that represents a completely valid concern; to the extent capital punishment is justified in principle, it must be applied through procedures that preclude erroneous sentences. However, that is not a valid objection where evidence of guilt in uncontroverted. Likewise, both the general moral obligation and the U.S. Constitution require that execution of capital sentences not involve unnecessary or prolonged physical suffering. At law, that issue has long-been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, which specifically…… [Read More]
An on-going Debate on Ethics and Morality
The topic examined in this assignment was the death penalty. In this country, this issue is one of constant debate, as it exists in half the country (roughly), but not in the other half. The first paper, as mentioned, analyzed three articles, all of which were subsequently described and included in the copy in order to see how the death penalty was described by intellectuals, and what arguments they gave as to its use, or lack thereof. This paper will utilize Universal Intellectual Standards (UIS) to critically review and re-evaluate the rational utilized in the previous assignment.
Firstly, clarity is very important in this assignment. The reason why the results here were further stratified was because the initial results were lacking in clarity. According to the UIS, clarity is the fist that should be applied to any work, in order to…… [Read More]
A philosopher looking at this article would likely believe that the author was using consequentialist arguments, because the author appears to feel that the action that must be taken is one that would make everything better. This betterment would be the 'consequence' of not allowing capital punishment for anyone that was under 18 when his or her crime was committed. The article is really very persuasive in that it makes the U.S. look bad and shows that there can be mistakes made when someone is executed and DNA and other evidence later may show that the person was actually innocent of the crime. However, those that believe strongly in justice will not want capital punishment abolished, no matter what the age of the criminal.
Schetky, Diane H., MD. (2001). Juveniles and the death penalty. American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. AAPL Newsletter, 26(3), 9-10. Retrieved May 27,…… [Read More]
death penalty has been a highly contentious issue in the United States, especially during the last fifty years or so. The reason for this is that human rights have become, more than ever, the basis of the American culture. The death penalty is a complex issue, relating to the rights of both the victims and the perpetrators of crime. The complexity of the issue becomes clear once again in H.L. Mencken's article, "The Penalty of Death," where the author explains the death penalty in terms of human psychology combined with human rights.
In my view, a murderer takes away the right of the victim to live. This is in the first place not a right granted to anyone, and the perpetrator should be punished in kind. Regardless of all "Christian" values and norms, the katharsis mentioned by Mencken is something that I believe should count among the rights of those…… [Read More]
However, the numbers used to report murder rates only tell us the number of crimes that have occurred. They tell us nothing about crimes that were never committed because of fear of the death penalty. The conundrum is that there is no realistic way to measure something that did not happen in the general population, at least in a way that would be credible from a scientific point-of-view.
Those that support the death penalty tend to place more emphasis on the credibility of econometric methods of analysis. They can find many studies to support their position among this group of analyses. They discredit comparative methods of study that do not support their position. Both proponents and their opposition have attempted to reduce the issue of whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder to one of credibility of the research findings. However, this argument fails, as there are…… [Read More]
They preside over hardened criminals on a daily basis, just like police officers, only the criminals they oversee are often present in greater numbers. To act against a correctional official is surely just as flagrant example of striking back at law enforcement as it is to kill a police officer.
The idea of deterrence is perhaps even more important in the case of a corrections officer. After all, a person acting against a police officer has more to lose than a person acting against a corrections officer. If a person shoots at a police officer, he or she stands a chance of loosing his or her liberty or his or her life. But an individual incarcerated in prison, perhaps for life, or for a duration in jail that 'feels' like life to a hardened, desperate criminal, has nothing to lose. Striking back in a violent fashion against a corrections official…… [Read More]
This creates a conflict that is not easily resolved.
In conclusion, it is unlikely that the capital punishment debate in the United States will resolve itself soon. Although the public tends towards opposing it, there is a significant proportion of citizens still supporting it. Furthermore, judicial processes are slow and difficult to change, further complicating the matter. Nonetheless, the best alternative so far suggested by researchers is life without parole. This is a very severe punishment, imposing lifelong suffering and deprivation for the convicted. This is a viable alternative for the death penalty, as it does in effect deprive the convicted of life. It also addresses the main concern of capital punishment -- the irreversible execution of the innocent.
"A Matter Of Life And Death: The Effect Of Life- Without-Parole Statutes On Capital Punishment." Harvard Law Review 119.6 (Apr. 2006): 1838-1854. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. EBSCO U. Of MD…… [Read More]
Adam Bedau and Paul G. Cassell (2004) reference the cost of the death penalty in the State of Texas, which is also a state with the highest numbers of executions under the death penalty. Bedau and Cassell cite information that says the initial trial of a death penalty case, that is a case where the death penalty is a penalty option, is approximately two million dollars per case more than those cases that do not involve the death penalty in Texas (101). These costs, though specific to Texas, are reasonably no less expensive for other states that try cases where there is an imposable death penalty.
If the difference for the states is about room, the total number of people on death row at a given time is insignificant as compared to the overall prison population. It would hardly seem that a prison with as many fourteen people on death…… [Read More]
Legalizing Death Penalty
In civilized states like the U.S.A., there are various means of punishment that are meted out against offenders and capital punishment is one of them. This goes on in chagrin of many pressure groups who argue that this kind of punishment denies the convicts the chance to change and become good to the society and can also fall on the wrongful conviction. This is just one of the major argument fronted by the campaigners against the death sentence within the U.S.A. And several other countries.
It is important to know that deaths sentence, in as much as it is loathed by many people in several countries, it still persists in majority of the countries. In the U.S.A. alone, at the states level, there are 32 states that still have the death penalty as compared to the 18 states where death penalty has been abolished and…… [Read More]
2. Discuss and examine public education in Texas. What is the purpose and function of an I.S.D. What are the purposes of the SBOE and the TEA? In your opinion, is the TAKS
test good for educating students in Texas? If the Legislature eliminates the TAKS test, then what should it be replaced with?
Texas education, much like the education in the United States as a whole, faces a crisis in meeting the requirements of a global community. The United States is being far surpassed by competing international educational systems. A study was conduct by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which looked at the educational systems in developed countries across the planet. The educational system in the U.S. ranked surprisingly low when compared against other countries.
The PISA studies fifteen-year-old students across the globe on three different subjects. The test given is similar to the Texas TAKS test…… [Read More]
While we experience many freedoms, one of those is not taking the life of another person. There must be retribution and many believe that the punishment should fir the crime.
The benefits of the death penalty are great. Perhaps the greatest argument in its favor is the fact that it is the greatest deterrent on earth. Life in prison is simply not enough these days with prison life often being better than what some indigent, innocent people experience on the outside. Those guilty of murder should not be afforded three meals a day, health insurance, or shelter from the weather. Not in a prison paid for by tax dollars. To expect tax-paying citizens to pay to keep a murderer alive is ridiculous but it is done every day. In a day when the country's deficit is greater than it has ever been, those tax dollars could be put to better…… [Read More]
death: suicide, euthanasia and the death penalty. Looking at certain aspects of each and discussing the issues concerning society. Also providing a sociological out look and economic basis for the arguments.
Death: Three Chances
Suicide is not a new phenomenon it has been around as long as mankind. The causes of suicide have been discussed on many occasions, and different theories have merged regarding the reason for which someone would commit suicide. There have been many studies undertaken in order to understand the phenomena in greater detail. Certain social factors were identified as being causal or contributing to this phenomenon, and suicides was broken down into different types, with different causes.
Henslin just as Durkheim before has looked at suicide, which Durkheim defined as any action which, leads subsequently to the death of the individual, either through positive action, such as hanging oneself or shooting oneself, or by way of…… [Read More]
For instance, in America an individual might be in waiting death for quit long time, over 10 years, perhaps waiting the result on appeals put forward. Such a person would have high chances of evading capital punishment especially if well connected and is white and affluent without considering the crime weight. In fact, studies indicate that in America white convicts are mostly legally bound to capital punishment for severe murders and have high probabilities of escaping punishment ("Capital Punishment," n.d.).
It is also important to understand offenders as human beings have life and are bound to various emotions like other normal people. Many will agree that there will not be a compassionate way of killing a person despite the saying of the law. All executions cause suffering to the convicts not mentioning the fact that if one understands that he/she is getting a death sentence would definitely terrify one.
In…… [Read More]
Execution for Committing a Non-Homicide Sex Crime
The last execution of an individual found guilty for committing a non-homicide sex crime occurred 50 years ago. The use of the death penalty against such offenders was halted partly because of claims that such execution was not only cruel but also in violation of the Constitution. In Coker v. Georgia (1977), the Court ruled that executions for rape were not only cruel but also contributed to unusual punishment that infringed the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. In its ruling on the case, the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited the death penalty for rape in an offense where the victim had the legal status of an adult since she was 16 years old and married. In the past few years, there have been attempts and efforts that support the reinstatement of capital punishment for committing a non-homicide sex crime. These efforts have primarily been…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment be Eliminated?
Death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment and is a relic of the times when practices such as slavery, branding, torture and other harsh and arbitrary punishments were common place. As civilized societies developed and evolved they began to follow higher standards of justice and respect for human life. Unfortunately, capital punishment, which is the most cruel of state-sanctioned punishments (being irreversible) has survived in several countries. Although more than half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, surprisingly, this cruel and inhumane form of punishment is still retained in the United States of America where 976 people have been executed since 1977 and around 3,500 men and women currently sit on the death row. ("Death Penalty," 2005) I strongly feel that taking the life of a person by the state is a gross violation of human rights and…… [Read More]
death penalty and its effect on crime. The death penalty does not eliminate murder and it ties up our legal system because of appeals and postponements. One state is now even trying to apply the capital punishment rule to other crimes. The legal system has used the capital punishment laws as a way to control minority groups. I am against the death penalty and capital punishment.
The legal system has been very incompetent when it comes to capital punishment. "There are serious and disturbing questions about the convictions of a number of inmates facing execution, particularly in those cases that were tried years ago by unqualified lawyers lacking adequate resources," Dan Goyette said. "We should not proceed with executions until this independent evaluation is completed and we are assured that due process has been fully and properly provided in each and every case. To do otherwise would cast significant doubt…… [Read More]
Assumptions were made regarding the individual state-level view about the punishment -- it is far more utilitarian to support capital punishment in states that have rising crime rates and proportionally higher rates of murder. Further, because the racial aspect of the death penalty is so controversial, and for some the main focus of the debate, the study measured racial composition in the data as the percentage of nonwhites to the overall state population. Factors regarding levels of urbanization and religion were also factored into the results. Despite these rather rigorous variable sets being included, any sociologist will confirm that cultural factors like urbanization, religiosity, and even political leanings have undergone a massive shift since the 1940s and 1950s; in most cases liberalizing the population factors that approve of the death penalty.
Certainly, this study is both robust and detailed in the sorting and statistical applications run on the data. The…… [Read More]
While this may indeed be true to some extent, it may not be the case in all instances. The jury may take all the necessary precautions to ensure that the death sentence is not handed to those who do not deserve it but it is not infallible. This means that there is a rather high probability of the death penalty being meted out to some undeserving parties.
In my opinion, the author has also refused to address some of the most controversial aspects of the debate. This makes the article appear biased. Some of the arguments presented by the author are also inconsistent with the findings of past studies. In some cases, Cassell also attempts to pass off his own beliefs and worldviews as statements of fact.
To his credit, the author can be said to have undertaken a comprehensive review of literature. The author also tends to enhance the…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment System is Still Racially Biased" by David A. Love asserts that the times when the death penalty tends to be administered is based on generally arbitrary, unfair and racially biased factors, and is seldom based on the merits of the case. One example that Love offers is the Racial Justice Act which is legislation in North Carolina that allows a death row prisoner to challenge their sentencing through the use of statistical evidence of racial prejudice in the nation. The very fact that such legislation exists in America is a shining piece of evidence for the fact that our nation is indeed a very skewed one when it comes to racial inequality, and that there is a long history of the legal and illegal persecution of others according to race. Love demonstrates compelling evidence to demonstrate how capital punishment has long been an issue of race, with the…… [Read More]
Enforce the Death Penalty for Murders Over a Life Sentence
This paper addresses the question: Is it more cost effective to enforce the death penalty for murders over a life sentence? Several topics will be covered such as why it could be cost effective and why it has not been cost effective. Several articles point to the need for prisons to carry out death penalties in order for death penalty sentencing to be cost effective. The introduction will highlight why the death penalty has been regulated more so than enforced.
Other articles will also show how death penalty sentencing can be used a means of creating persuasive plea bargains as criminals do not want to experience death row. Another article states how expensive maintenance of death row inmates are vs. inmates who received life sentences. It also shows how many inmates were killed on death row vs. The…… [Read More]
org. "It is stacked again and again in the killers' favor and victims are an after-thought. It would be unlikely to ever lead to an execution in Massachusetts."
Chief among the group's gripes is that the bill does not specifically call for death in child or sex slayings but would put death on the table for inmates serving life who kill behind bars. Romney's bill provides the death penalty for killings involving terrorism, the murder of a law enforcement officer and slayings involving multiple victims or torture - all backed by irrefutable DNA evidence.
Paranzino also said a requirement for "no doubt" scientific proof conflicts with existing "reasonable doubt" standards. "This bill itself deserves to die of lethal injection," he said. "America is safer without this bill than we would be with it."
Romney aide Shawn Feddeman said the governor "focused on the worst of the worst murders (in drafting…… [Read More]
history of the death penalty in Illinois begins in 1973 when former Governor Dan Walker signed a new which ostensibly corrected the problems that caused the former law to be declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 1972. The law signed by Walker was revised in 1977 and was in effect until the Illinois legislature ultimately abolished the death penalty entirely in March of 2011 (Mills, 2011).
When the Illinois legislature determined in 1973 that they wanted to draft new death penalty legislation, it was their intent to comply with the provisions of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia (Furman v. Georgia, 1972). The Supreme Court had ruled that the capital punishment laws in Georgia and Texas, as they were being applied, were unconstitutional as being cruel and unusual punishment and, therefore, in violation of the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments of…… [Read More]
death penalty in the United States today?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting for the U.S. Department of Justice that in 2013 "the estimated number of murders in the nation was 14,196"(www.fbi.gov). According to The Death Penalty Information Center, between 1976 and February 2015, the number of cumulative executions per capita was the highest in the State of Texas, with 521. The state with the highest number in population California, reported 13 such executions for the stated period. Considering the number of under 1500 of the total of cumulative executions in the U.S. between 1976 and February 2015 on one side, and the estimated number of murders in only one year in the U.S., I am safe to conclude that a very small number of murders are effectively punished with the death penalty in the U.S. This is vital information concerning the death penalty and its use in the…… [Read More]
The state, and in this case the judicial system cannot be responsible for deciding on this right. From this point-of-view, "the death penalty is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. The state can exercise no greater power over a person than that of deliberately depriving him or her of life" (Amnesty International, 2007).
Given the two elements mentioned above, it is important to underline that the maintenance of the death penalty even for cases where crimes against other people have been committed is not justified. This is particularly because the state, in its essence, is not without flaws. At the same time, taking into account the legal system in the U.S., based on the ruling of the 12 jurors, the life of the accused lies solely in the hands of those jurors. It is well-known that for every case and trial, the jurors are…… [Read More]
The film Dead Man Walking presents a complex view of the death penalty, as the filmmakers avoid oversimplifying the issue or pontificating a particular point of view. Sister Helen (Susan Sarandon) is called upon to work with a man on death row: Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn). Poncelet is presented as a thoroughly distasteful human being, one that the audience can scarce sympathize with at first. Yet as his immanent death approaches, Poncelet does change, however meaningless and futile that small change may be. His initial deceit fades into a frank recognition of his crime, and the audience is left to wonder if facing his mortality is really what triggered these psychological changes or whether he might have underwent a spiritual transformation while serving out a life sentence. Knowing what the audience does about Poncelet, it is doubtful that as an inmate he would have reckoned with the truth of his…… [Read More]
The United States is one of the few industrialized, democratic nations in the world which still permits capital punishment on a state-by-state basis. Not all states have the death penalty but executions are still carried out in the United States and the punishment remains controversial.
Despite the singularity of its status internationally, the death penalty has historically been a popular policy in the United States, even though it has been hotly debated throughout US history in the legislature and the courts. This essay on death penalty will examine its legal statusin the United States, its history, and its future.
The Future of the Death Penalty in America
Why America Has a Death Penalty
Death Penalty: Arguments and Counter-Arguments
Death Penalty Pros and Cons
[ more topics for death penalty ]
A Comparison of the Death Penalty in Different Countries and the United States
The Death Penalty Debate…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment: A Capital Offense in Today's Easily Misguided World
The debate surrounding the usage of capital punishment in the modern era has raged for generations. While there have always been arguments for the positive aspects of capital punishment, today's world is less optimistic about the death penalty -- and with good reason. The death penalty affects more than just the convicted, it affects all of society. In order to show why capital punishment should be avoided, it is helpful to draw lessons from history, literature, and psychology.
The historical case for capital punishment has long been made. Capital punishment has existed in every major society in one form or another throughout the centuries. As Michael Kronenwetter states, in every society "all punishment is based on the same simple proposition: There must be a penalty for wrongdoing" (1). Kronenwetter is correct in asserting as much: all major societies have had…… [Read More]
These people demonstrated that a trial regarding a possible capital sentence is lengthy and is probable to reflect negatively on the suspect, considering that he or she experiences intense feelings as he or she stands and waits for the jury to decide whether he or she is going to live another day or not. Taking into account the nature of the crimes attributed to a person who is susceptible to be sentenced to death, it is irrelevant whether or not he or she spends a significant amount of time in courts.
Another legal issue that emerges when discussing in regard to capital punishment is related to the influence of constitutional rights in the case of a person who is convicted for serious crimes. "What we have here is a head-on collision between the operating needs of the capital punishment system and the sentiments and the norms of Anglo-American criminal justice"…… [Read More]
An issue as divisive as the death penalty has many arguments in its favor and many against it. Sorting through these different arguments to find a reasonable conclusion to either support the death penalty or not can be challenging. In terms of favoring the death penalty, there are two main themes, the deterrence theme and the retribution theme (Gill, 2013).
Some pros are:
Death penalties act as a deterrent for some
Death penalties act to punish those who commit heinous acts
The death penalty is more cost-effective than keeping someone in prison for life
Violation of the social contract to behave with civility towards one another rules out one's right to civil treatment from society
Prevents future crimes
Some cons of the death penalty are:
The right to life is sacred and no one should take it, governments included
Moral hazard in choosing who lives and dies
The…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment & DNA
DNA Evidence, Capital Punishment, & the Criminal Justice System
Capital Punishment is an issue of great contention. There are many people who strongly favor the use of capital punishment; there are also a great number of people that are adamantly against the use of capital punishment. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) evidence has become a crucial factor in the criminal justice system and the issue of capital punishment. Since the advent and use of DNA evidence as part of criminal proceedings, there have been many prisoners and alleged criminals who have been exonerated because of DNA evidence specifically. The use of DNA evidence has illuminated overarching problems in several areas of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement and the penal system. DNA is used to overturn wrongful criminal charges and ultimately to right an injustice to both the victim of the crime and to the person wrongfully…… [Read More]
Is Capital Punishment Cruel and Unusual?
What is cruel and unusual punishment? Does the definition of cruel and unusual punishment change with time and changing social mores? Does the determination of whether or not a punishment is cruel and unusual depend on the crime committed, the criminal being punished, or both? These are all very important questions, which must all be examined before one can determine whether or not capital punishment is cruel and unusual punishment.
Cruel and unusual punishment is a difficult term to define, as it depends on the values and mores of the defining society. The prohibition against cruel punishment basically means that the punishment should fit the crime. For example, determining when death is an appropriate issue has been one of the complicating factors in the death penalty debate. Historically, the death penalty was previously available for a variety of crimes, ranging from theft…… [Read More]
Powell points to the fact that "in Georgia, for example, the time between the date of the murder and the murderer's execution (if it occurs) averages close to I0 years 25 Although the average lapsed time in Georgia may be the highest, the same situation generally prevails in a number of other states. No one would suggest that this is satisfactory." (Powell, 1038)
Indeed, according to Calvert (1993) it demonstrates a process which is crowded with rational causes to delay in the implementation, primarily because the application of the death penalty is so difficult to evaluate ethically. The degree of doubt which has been cast upon the efficiency, fairness or consistency of the death penalty is sufficient to warrant an inquiry on its ethical rationality. In many ways, those perspectives which have supported its unquestioned usage tend to align philosophically with authoritarian state structures, connectivity between the legitimacy of state…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment in Texas
Khalil, Samy. "Doing the impossible: Appellate reweighing of harm and mitigation in capital cases after Williams v. Taylor, with a special focus on Texas." Texas Law Review, 80(1): November 2001. Proquest Database.
In this article, Khalil examines how state and federal courts have overturned death sentences, from a period covering the reinstitution of the death penalty in 1976 to 2001. The author focuses on sentences that have been upset due to the failure of defense lawyers to both investigate and present mitigating evidence during trial. The author makes a strong argument by referring to Williams v. Taylor, which argues that appellate courts cannot be expected to reweigh harm and mitigation when attorneys present adequate defense representation. In the case of Texas, the author rightly observes that appellate courts would have difficulty reviewing all capital cases arising from Texas, since even fact-finders in Texas are not required…… [Read More]
Capital Punishment Debate
The United States is one of the few industrialized nations in the world that still practices capital punishment. Most European nations and our northern neighbor Canada do not have the death penalty and in fact will not send wanted criminals to the United States because of their opposition to capital punishment. Proponents of the death penalty say that it can be a deterrent to crime, that it can be cheaper than life without parole sentences, that it is a viable and just response to murder, that the death penalty is a moral imperative or even a display of divine justice. However, statistics and facts prove otherwise, which is why I am firmly opposed to capital punishment. I base my argument on four major points. First, studies show that the death penalty is costly, more costly than incarceration. Second, the death penalty is irreversible. Many people are wrongfully…… [Read More]
After exploring both sides of the death penalty argument, it's important to remember that neither side supports executions based on racial or financial bias. And, all want to see the defendant having competent defense and receiving the correct verdict. These issues are related to the application of the death penalty rather than the death penalty itself and they can be fixed. The two real differences between those supporting and opposing the death penalty are whether it actually deters crime and whether it is appropriate punishment. There doesn't appear to be a clear answer regarding crime deterrence to put a stake in the ground for one side or the other. The remaining issue, cruel and unusual punishment is entirely subjective based on personal beliefs. Perhaps adequate alternatives to capital punishment such as life without parole would make the abolition of the death penalty more acceptable to some. However, there…… [Read More]
Since re-imposing the death penalty in 1977, the United States of America has executed more than 1200 persons, and currently has more than 3000 more awaiting execution. Proponents of capital punishment claim that these deaths were necessary for the protection of society and the deterrence of future criminal activity. But opponents reject these arguments and cite scientific studies and statistics which demonstrate the death penalty has been used by courts in an arbitrary and unfair manner, more often given as sentences to the poor and minorities. In addition, opponents point to the fact that over 138 people have been exonerated and released from death rows since the early 1970's, while statistically, at least 10% of those convicted of capital crimes are actually innocent. While there are many more reasons why the death penalty should be permanently abolished, the way it has been misused and the fact that many…… [Read More]