Death Penalty The death penalty, outlawed in most of Europe, Canada, Australia and most other countries in the world, is still practiced in almost 40 states in the U.S. Today, there are more than 3,000 people on death row waiting the day of their execution. They are put to death by methods such as hanging, electrocution, lethal injection and by firing squad. Since the death penalty was reinstated bye the supreme court in 1976, by the Gregg v. Georgia decision, more than 525 people have been put to death.
Today there are many people for the death penalty and see nothing wrong with it but there are many people who feel hat it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The 8th amendment of the U.S. protects its citizens from cruel and …show more content…
Almost all capital punishment defendants are indigent when arrested, and are generally represented by court appointed lawyers, who are inexperienced and unpaid.
The federal government and many states have drastically slashed funding to attorneys to represent defendants in the death penalty cases. Some defendants have told stories of their lawyers being drunk or asleep during the trial, never meet with their clients, nor have no legal experience previous to their trial. Often the attorney’s who have been disbarred because of wrong doings take the death penalty cases because no one wants them and they often do them for service to their business. Defending a death penalty case is very time-consuming and usually takes seven hundred to one thousand hours.
In some cases the hourly rates for the attorneys is less than the minimum wage, and usually less than the lawyer’s hourly expenses. Wealthy people who can hire their own counsel are usually not put to death, no matter how serious their crime was. Poor people do not have the same opportunities to buy their lives. Death row in the U.S has always had a bigger population of colored people then whites. The most important factor of the death penalty concerning races is the race of the victim. Those who kill a white person are more likely to receive the capital punishment then those who kill a colored person.
A report by the Death Penalty Information Center found that in ninety-six percent of the studies examining
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
Many counties complain about the high costs and the financial difficulty it causes. The document, What Politicians Don’t Say About the High Costs of the Death Penalty, written by Richard C. Dieter, executive director of The Death Penalty Information Center states, “Georgia is laying off 900 correctional personnel and New Jersey has had to dismiss 500 police officers. Yet these same states, and many others like them, are pouring millions of dollars into the death penalty with no resultant reduction in crime.” These cost of these trial are not only immense amounts of money to the local governments, but also people’s jobs and lives. It is an unnecessary process that millions of dollars are being poured into each
(Birmingham, Alabama) One of only a few states in the nation that fails to provide a statewide indigent defender program, Alabama also lacks post-conviction counsel for those inmates on death row. Clayton Tartt, an associate with Birmingham's Parkman White, LLP, a birmingham criminal defense firm, feels this is a critical flaw in the state's judicial system and works to provide representation to those who otherwise cannot afford it. Mr. Tartt volunteers with the Alabama Post-Conviction Relief Project to help individuals in this situation. Cody Owens of Weld Magazine recently interviewed Mr. Tartt about this issue.
In the United States, the adversarial system of justice relies on ensuring a criminal defendant receives a fair trial. The sixth amendment gives defendants the right to legal representation in criminal trials even if they cannot afford one themselves. Each city and county in the United States ensures a defendant the right to counsel. There are different ways cities and counties across the United States provide representation for indigent defendants. One such approach to indigent defense is public defender programs and is a popular system used by many states today. Public defender programs have been around since the 1900’s but gained popularity throughout the years due to the many indigent defense cases.
As society moves into an era where issues start to become a matter of publicity and law reforms, the public starts to become more informed and aware of the differences between having a court-appointed defense attorney versus a hired private defense attorney. The acknowledgment of this issue was mentioned above, because of high rates of minority incarcerations, researchers started to consider the differences between appointed and private defense.
Imagine you 're watching the local news, and suddenly you hear a case about a man put on death row because of the murder of a homeless man. Most people wouldn 't think twice about this type of case and think to themselves "that 's what he deserves" or "these types of things happen all the time". A report by the Death Penalty Information Center and titled "The 2% Death Penalty: How a Minority of Counties Produce Most Death Cases at Enormous Costs to Us All (Dieter 2013)" talks about a concerning geographic actuality about death row. The majority of the public may think that capital punishment is a widely used form of punishment today but, the reality of the situation is actually, very displeasing. In states that allow this type of punishment, only two percent of counties have been guilty of the bulk of cases (Dieter 2013). Even worse, counties that have the death penalty in effect are responsible for some of the highest reversal rates and errors of injustice (2013). One example of this issue is the state of Alabama. Alabama sentences more people to death than any other state in the United States. According to ACME International, this is because "50% of the people on death row were granted legal representation by public defenders whose compensation for trial preparation is capped at a maximum of $1000 per case." The reality is that a $1000 cap cannot pay for lawyers, witnesses, and specific
Most death row inmates or victims of the capital punishment are the result of inadequate legal representation. Around 90% of the defendants charged with crimes leading to capital punishment are poverty stricken. Thus, they are unable to afford quality legal representation and are often stuck with lawyers
Although our federal public defense system is often publicized as the “gold standard” of the public defense systems, it is, unfortunately, providing inadequate representation in far too many cases. Over the past year, the committee, which has been receiving testimony and analyses from experts and legal scholars around the country, has been hearing about these inadequacies and how they must be rectified.2. Excessive caseloads: Public defense caseloads frequently far exceed national standards. For example, national standards limit felony cases to 150 a year per attorney. Felony caseloads of 500, 600, 800 or more are common. A New York Times investigation found defenders with a total caseload of over 1,600 cases annually. Unmanageable caseloads mean that many defenders simply don’t have time to do the most basic tasks, such as talk to their clients or do an investigation. Many individuals get nothing more than a few minutes of their attorney’s time and a hurried guilty plea.
The national statistics on the racial disparities in regards to race and the death penalty are very staggering. According to an article from the Death Penalty Information Center, the United States General Accounting Office stated that in “82% of the studies reviewed, the race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, for example those who murdered whites were found to be more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks.” The article also included a chart with data about the people executed for interracial murders in the United States since 1976. The cases basically showed how in instances where there was a white defendant and a black victim, the defendant was only executed in a total of 20 cases and in instances where the defendant was black and the victim was white, the defendant was executed in a disproportionate 285 cases.
Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States in 1976, 138 innocent men and women have been released from death row, including some who came within minutes of execution. Missouri, Texas and Virginia have opened investigations to determine if those states executed innocent men. Sometimes people make mistakes and may realize this after it’s too late. One of the most frequent causes of reversals in death penalty cases is ineffective assistance of counsel. With inadequate defense as one of the main reasons requiring reversal, a study at Columbia University found that 68% of all death penalty cases were reversed on
Unsurprisingly, the death penalty system in the United States is immensely bias, and applied in a way that is unjust for individuals on trial. It is largely dependent on an individual’s social class, race, and the attorney’s skill. (Williams) A study by Professor Kathrine Beckett showed that jurors in Washington are four and a half times more likely to charge a black defendant with the death sentence over a white defendant. (Williams) These chances become enlarged if the victim was white. Moreover, according to the U.S. Appeals Court judge, over 99% of people on death row are impecunious. (Keller) Although people of various incomes commit murder, those who are less wealthy are most preeminent in receiving the death penalty. Arguably, one of the most important aspects on winning a case resulting in death penalty is the efficiency of the lawyer. Most defendants in capital cases cannot afford a lawyer on their own and appointed a lawyer. The attorneys representing them are many times overworked, underpaid, and inexperienced, leaving the defendant with a poor case, and perhaps a great tribute to their death. Overall, Capital Punishment is a broken, predisposed system of unjust
It is the same image of a poor patient needing a surgery, but the doctor has not operated since medical school and his/her assistance are neither qualified nor have the experience to do so. It is most likely that the patient’s chance of survival is slim to none. This subjection to injustice occur “for every 7 executions - 486 since 1976 - 1 other prisoner on death row has been found innocent” (Jones). Under the current state of this institution, “hundreds, perhaps thousands, of indigent defendants will be represented by lawyers inexperienced in criminal law. Even if convicted, those convictions are subject to reversal due to inadequate lawyering” (“Can we afford the death penalty?”). Keep in mind that the States pay for these public defendants and that the taxpayer money are indulged in this unjust institution. The money spent on the death penalty could be used to hire and train more policemen in order to maintain peace among neighborhoods. Despite its excessive cost, the death penalty, based on statistics, does not deter criminals.
Capital punishment cases usually attracts talented lawyers who will sometime waive their fee or work for very little because it is the publicity they want more or it is their personal belief to oppose the death penalty but in working the case they increase the risk of having a guilty person set free. The best lawyers are outstanding manipulators. They are skilled in misdirecting the way the jurors think and concealing facts. They know how to pick jurors who will be sympathetic to their client or their side of the case. They understand how to use ambiguous procedures and employ other ways to get their client off without being punished for their crime. Fortunately, most criminals cannot afford one of these master manipulators. They generally
Lethal Injection for the Poor - The American Bar Association and many scholars have found that what most often determines whether or not a death sentence is handed down is not the facts of the crime, but the quality of the legal representation. The overwhelming majority of death row inmates receive substandard legal representation at trial. Almost all capital-crime defendants are indigent when arrested, and are generally represented by court-appointed lawyers, who are inexperienced and underpaid. The National Law Journal, reviewing capital cases in six Southern states, reported that defense lawyers are often "ill-trained, unprepared... [and] grossly underpaid."
This article begins with the issue of adequate legal representation and the problem with ineffective defense in court. It also contains an explanation of several Supreme Court Cases involving the right to effective assistance of counsel and some standards set for determining whether a given performance can be considered competent.it can provide useful quotations for examining what issues are involved in the implementation of the right of a fair trial.
One of the problems with capital punishment is that the attorney you have determines your fate. A lot of people can't afford a good attorney, which means that they do not have a good chance.