The American Civil Liberties Union believes the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law. Furthermore, we believe that the state should not give itself the right to kill human beings – especially when it kills with premeditation and ceremony, in the name of the law or in the name of its people, and when it does so in an arbitrary and discriminatory fashion.
The legitimacy of the use of capital punishment has been tarnished by its widespread misuse , which has clouded our judgment regarding the justifiability of the death penalty as a punitive measure. However, the problems with capital punishment, such as the “potential error, irreversibility, arbitrariness and racial skew" , are not a basis for its abolition, as the world of homicide suffer from these problems more acutely. To tackle this question, one must disregard the currently blemished universal status quo and purely assess the advantages and disadvantages of the death penalty as a punitive measure. Through unprejudiced examination of the death penalty and its consequential impacts, it is evident that it is a punishment that effectively serves its retributive, denunciatory, deterrent, and incapacitative goals.
The debate on whether or not the death penalty should be abolished has been ongoing for quite a long period of time. While there are those who believe that the death penalty does not serve its intended purpose, proponents of the same are convinced that the relevance of the same cannot be overstated and hence it should not be abolished. In this text, I examine the arguments for and against the death penalty.
The death penalty is one of the most controversial forms of punishment in the United States criminal justice system. For many, the death penalty seems like a way to gain retribution, and to help make this country a better place, however there are many reasons why the death penalty is also not a good thing. My main points that I’m going to talk about for my paper is why I don’t believe in the death penalty. Throughout the paper the reader will be able to understand exactly what the death penalty is, the pros and cons of the death penalty, and eventually be able to depict for themselves whether the death penalty is “good” or not.
The death penalty has been debated for centuries. Within just America, it dates back all the way to 1608. In an article entitled “History of the Death Penalty” from the website Death Penalty Information Center, it states, “The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608. Kendall was executed for being a spy for Spain.” So, it is safe to say that the death penalty has been around for a long time, and has been debated by many for just as long. Most people will claim that they are against the death penalty with no reason other than they believe it is immoral and wrong. Those people simply do not know the facts of how the death penalty actually helps the American Justice System. The death penalty prevents overcrowding in prisons, reoffenders, and is cheaper to the taxpayers.
An examination of death penalty sentencing procedures within the American criminal justice system suggests that the legal and moral authority to execute condemned criminals granted to a government has been tested time and time again, only to be reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. While the 1960's saw a series of failed attempts to ban the practice, launched by death penalty abolitionist groups firm in their belief that murder can never be justified, it was not until 1972 that a majority of Supreme Court justices ruled to prohibit state-mandated executions. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing a forum for informed discussion regarding capital punishment, "the issue of arbitrariness of the death penalty was brought before the Supreme Court in 1972 in Furman v. Georgia, Jackson v. Georgia, and Branch v. Texas (known collectively as the landmark case Furman v. Georgia (408 U.S. 238))" (DPIC, 2013). While the court previously ruled in Crampton v. Ohio and McGautha v. California that the application of capital punishment did not result in arbitrary and capricious sentencing, the 1972 Furman case challenged the Eight Amendment, whereas the McGautha case cited the Fourteenth Amendment's due process provision.
Throughout time, the death penalty has been the ultimate price for crime in many cultures. In the United States and for the purposes of this paper, we will discuss it in relation to capital murder. In this paper, we will examine the current death penalty policy in the United States and its sometimes inconsistent and brutal application. We will also examine whether the death penalty is effective in providing deterrence, as well as a policy recommendations.
Imagine a world of prisons so overcrowded that police have no choice to let the criminals run rampant. This may very well be our future if we continue the jail system we have today. Controversy over the right to use the death penalty has caused many prisons to fill up and spend money unnecessarily. We need the death penalty to keep current prison populations in check.
The majority of people believe that the death penalty is applied fairly today in the US. According to Washington D.C; six out of 10 people favor the death penalty. People might think (at first,) that the death penalty is cruel, until they actually know what and why it is used for. The death penalty is mostly used on convicted murders, while some have been used for on extreme cases relating to aggravated rape. “When asked about the frequency with which the death penalty is imposed, 40% of Americans say it is not imposed enough, with the remainder equally divided between saying it is imposed "too often" (27%) or "about the right amount" (27%).”(Dugan) With this only 27% of people think that the death penalty is applied “too often”, while 40%
The penalty of death in return for a crime is a direct representation of the inhuman cruelty of our society.
In a study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, at least 4.1% of people on death row are wrongly convicted. While these may seem like just statistics to you and me, these numbers are someone's parents, someone’s child, this convict is a human being. This is exactly why we need death penalty reform. The death penalty has been established for many years. The most infamous example being the “Code of Hammurabi” which was established in the early eighteenth century. Over the years, a multitude of American citizens have fervently expressed opposition for the death penalty. This led to the abolition of the death penalty in nineteen states, the most recent being just last year in 2016. As many other states move to abolish the death penalty, we must realize why the death penalty needs to be reformed. The death penalty overall is way too expensive, ineffective in deterring crime, and is
When examining more closely, the details about how capital punishment is practiced can also be puzzling. Because there are no perfect beings in this world, the justice system is inalterably flawed; even with the advancing technology, there will never a guarantee on not executing the innocent if capital punishment is not abolished. For instance, even though the Court had prohibited the sentencing of an offender to death such that race and class dominate an important part to the consideration of the verdict, racial discrimination still occurs frequently in the capital punishment system. Black jurors, black defendants, and black victims are significantly deprived. It is much more probable for a black defendant to be executed over a white defendant;
I realize that the death penalty can be a troublesome subject that may have people in this world divided. While there are many people who support it and there are those who are against it. Today crime has turned out to be a major problem in this country. If people want to commit crimes shouldn’t they do the time? But to dig a little deeper crimes and penalties are difficulties that stem from race, prejudice, beliefs, etc. Today’s criminal justice system has a lot of loop holes in it. Therefore, gang bangers, drug dealers, rapist, sex offenders are back on the streets. Lawyers are slightly responsible for why that is. Most lawyer’s will enable them to get away with their wrongdoings. The death penalty is good at a certain extent. I trust
Capital punishment is beneficial to the community. It provides the society with a sense of security. The death penalty contains a positive influence on the future. A heavily debated topic is, “Does capital punishment deter people more than a life sentence to prison?” An explanation on why will be covered later. An issues many people have with capital punishment, is when it is just or not just. This is a topic many stray away from, because it is difficult to decide. Finding the right consequence for an action is difficult. While this paper is for the use of capital punishment, it is clearly not needed for every crime, or even every murder. Overusing capital punishment, such as using it for every murder, will negatively impact the country, and not using it has the same effect.