The moral and ethical debate on the sentencing and enforcement of capital punishment has long baffled the citizens and governing powers of the United States. Throughout time, the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and the vast majority beliefs of Americans, have been in a constant state of perplexity. Before the 1960s, the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution were interpreted as permitting the death penalty. However, in the early 1960s, it was suggested that the death penalty was a "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Many argue that capital punishment is an absolute necessity, in order to deter crime, and to ‘make things right’ following a heinous crime of murder. Despite the belief that capital punishment may seem to be the only tangible, permanent solution to ending future capital offenses, the United States should remove this cruel and unnecessary form of punishment from our current judicial systems.
The death penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime (law.cornell.edu, 2015). The first Congress of the United States authorized the federal death penalty on June 25, 1790 (deathpenalty.org, 2011). The death penalty can also be referred to as capital punishment, however capital punishment also includes a sentence to life in prison, as opposed to strictly executions. A convict can be sentenced to death by various methods including lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and hanging. After the death penalty was established, many debates have arisen arguing that these methods violate several of the United States’ Amendments. Select cases have been accused of violating the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. It is important to note that the judiciary goes through a series of processes prior to deciding a sentence for a capital crime. Many factors influencing the verdict include proportional analysis, individualized sentencing, method of execution, and classes of people not eligible of the death penalty. This paper will discuss brief descriptions of the methods used for executions, economical issues, the Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the death penalty, as well as important factors that make up the proportional analysis, individual sentencing process, method used, and determining classes of people who are not eligible for the death penalty.
The Eight Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”, proposed on 9/25/1789 and approved on 12/15/1791. The cruel and unusual punishment confines the harshness of penalties that state and federal governments may inflict upon ones who have been condemned of a criminal offense. The excessive fines phrase restricts the amount that state and federal governments may possibly fine an individual for a specific offense. The excessive bail phrase limits legal judgment in setting bail for the discharge of persons indicted of an illegal action during the time following their capture but prior to their trial.
Not only is capital punishment a conflict in today’s society, but it is considered a cruel and uncommon punishment by the law. In
To Take a Life In 1879, the United States Supreme Court ruled, by a vote of 9-0, that execution by firing squad was not cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. This began a long debate on whether or not a government reserves the right to punish those who have taken a life by taking their lives. There are many reasons as to why someone would be against capital punishment: it is not our right as humans to play God, it is against the constitution, the threat of capital punishment is not a valid deterrent, it is morally corrupt to take a life. All of these points are valid, and they represent the mindset of millions of Americans; however, capital punishment is a valuable asset to be reserved for only “the most heinous murders and the most brutal and conscienceless murderers” (Alice).
The Death Penalty: Pros and Cons In this paper I will be discussing everything you need to know about the death penalty such as its pros and cons. While the innocent can be killed, the death penalty has its pros because it prevents them from killing again if they are released or have escaped from prison, it helps overpopulated prisons, and it can help victims’ families get justice and closure. Not only can the innocent be killed, but in the past the death penalty was very inhumane. To some its feels right but to others they feel like 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Most people think that the defendant deserves the death penalty, but what does the defendants’ family think?
Since 2012, the use of lethal injection has been legal in 31 states, to contaminate a convict. 1,423 people innocent and guilty have died from the death penalty since 1972. I strongly believe that the death penalty is unconstitutional being that it violates the Eighth Amendment, irreversible, and executes a large amount of hypocrisy.
As the famous American politician Martin O’Malley once said, “The death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent, and the appeals process is expensive and cruel to the surviving family members.” This quote explains that the death penalty is ineffective and arises even more complications for the family of the accused. In addition, the death penalty is a consequence that an accused pays for their crime. Moreover, the Eighth Amendment is trespassed because the death penalty is considered “cruel and unusual punishment.” Also, a former national basketball player and now a politician, Kevin Johnson said that in some states, they use three drug methods, including the sedative midazolam; a drug used to make people feel relaxed and/or sleepy during surgery. Altogether, the
if Alonza TThomas was engaged in a crime that warranted the death penalty he will be charge and accused of the crime he committed by being put into death penalty. he had to pay for the crime. . yes i think the death penalty violates the 8th amendment because it
An Impassioned Debate: An overview of the death penalty in America depicts the facts about the eighth amendment. The eighth amendment is the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments (Masci 1). There are two significant cases that have inflamed the debate over the capital punishment, The Baze v. Reese case, and the Kennedy v. Louisiana case. The first case reveals the strong debate that the execution by lethal injection is inhuman and in violation of the eight amendment. The second case inflamed the
Prison holds Millions of Americans everyday. Whether it be for theft, murder, or drugs, the morals of these people imprisoned have been corrupted and they have chosen to break the law. American citizens have always been faced with these questions: Is the death penalty morally right to execute? Is death penalty breaking the eighth Amendment? Depending on the person, they may agree with these questions or disagree. Even though times in America have changed tremendously, The death penalty should still be used as form of punishment and the crimes for life sentences should be reduced.
We reserve the death penalty in the United States for the most heinous murders and the most
The eighth amendment to the United States Constitution states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted (US Const. amend. IIX.).” The wording of this amendment has raised the question on what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. This ambiguity of this section constitution has caused the hot debate, whether or not capital punishment is constitutional or not. The use of capital punishment harms the innocent, wastes money, and is unconstitutional.
Death penalty violates the eighth constitutional amendment. Death is both unusually severe punishments, unusual in pain, in its enormity and its finality. It does not serve as a penal purpose effectively but a less severe punishment. The constitutional infirmity in the death punishment is that it treats human race members as nonhumans and as objects that need to be toyed with and discarded. It is thus not in consistent with the fundamental premise of the Clause that even the criminal who is the vilest still remain a human being possessed of common human dignity. Death penalty, therefore, subjects human beings to a fate that is forbidden by the principle of civilized treatment that is guaranteed by the clause. It is, therefore, clear that according to this clause, death today is cruel and unusual
In the United States, the use of the death penalty continues to be a controversial issue. Every election year, politicians, wishing to appeal to the moral sentiments of voters, routinely compete with each other as to who will be toughest in extending the death penalty to those persons who have been convicted of first-degree murder. Both proponents and opponents of capital punishment present compelling arguments to support their claims. Often their arguments are made on different interpretations of what is moral in a just society. In this essay, I intend to present major arguments of those who support the death penalty and those who are opposed to state sanctioned executions application . However, I do intend to fairly and accurately