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Capital Punishment

.. actors that determine a person being sentenced to death. A criminals past record and the seriousness of the crime currently committed are two major factors in determining death row sentencing. These factors are what have sent more men to death row than women. Some people believe that the selection of death row is unfair due to the number of men vs.

women facing it. Jurors have many things to consider when convicting the accused. How brutal was it, how many people were killed, was it premeditated, was it torturous? These are all things that the jurors considering when determining the fate of the accused. Of course they also have to keep decide if the evidence proves, with out a doubt, the person is guilty. In sentencing a person to death row states often look at the persons background of violence. Other concerns that bring up past convictions of violent acts and murders help to lead jurors in their decision making process.

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Male murderers with earlier convictions are four times as likely to possess a judicial disadvantage than a female because of a prior violent felony charge (McCuen, 1997). Women are not as quick to show aggression as men are. This increases the likely hood of a prosecutor to persuaded to go to capital trial and for the jury to sentence the death penalty. Effective Deterrent Deterrence is a theory that a threatened punishment must be of a severe enough consequence in order to counteract a criminals feel of pleasure to commit a crime. Specific deterrence is the inability of a convict to commit another crime in result to their given punishment. A person not committing a crime because of the severity of the punishment if they carry out with it is known a general deterrence. Murderers that come across as somewhat rational and intelligent, whom have committed a premeditated crime are those that the death penalty as a deterrent work.

An analyzing study of data from the years 1936 to 1977 done by Professor Stephen Layson of the University of North Carolina made a significant conclusion about deterrence. His conclusion was that eighteen murders are deterred in result to on execution. According to Laysons studies, if correct, somewhere around 125,000 murders have been deterred due to the threat of the death penalty as punishment (McCuen, 1997). McComb of the Supreme Court of California discovered fourteen examples in the police department of defendants whom, in explaining their refusal to carry a weapon or kill. This pointed to the fear of the death penalty.

This is great evidence supporting that people are truly deterred by the presence of the death penalty. The death penalty is a definate deterrent to crime, however it is not effective enough. The delayed punishment received is not paired closely enough to the crime. Therefore, the consequence of the death penalty doesnt always seem associated with the criminal act because of the long time before the execution takes place. The only way to condition criminal to view execution as a punishment to their behavior is by having it happen immediately after conviction and sentencing.

This comes from the idea of classical conditioning and negative reinforcements (Meyers, 1998). Problems The process of convicting a felon and sentencing them to death is very long. With the conviction and sentencing always comes appeal by the convicted. The constant appeals can lead to years in court, which costs millions of dollars. This is where the problem with a convict not seeing the death penalty as a punishment for their actions. The cost keeping a person on death row and the many years, sometimes as many is twenty-five is way too high.

With new methods of presenting evidence of D.N.A. the process needs to be sped up to make the death penalty to be a more effective deterrent. An Ending Thought As American citizens were are all born with certain rights. With these rights however, come responsibilities. When a person takes the life and rights of another human being they forfeit their rights.

I believe the guilty party is lucky to get one of the humane executions used in America. What ever happened to the idea of an “eye for an eye?” Executions used in the U.S. are extremely humane, especially when considering the brutality used by the condemned. For a long time our country has focussed on finding the most humane way to execute the convicted. We need to turn our heads in a new direction and start figuring out a shorter process for death row. Way too many tax dollars of the American people are used to defend the already convicted.

With our modern techniques for presenting evidence, the accused should need only to be convicted once, followed b immediate execution. To make capital punishment a more effective deterrent the process needs to be faster. There is no reason to spend years determining when and if the convicted will take the walk down the green mile. Bibliography David Von Drehle, “Among the Lowest of the Dead,” published by Times Books, 1995. 469 pages.

Edited by Thomas Draper, “Capital Punishment,” published by H. W. Wilson Company, 1985, Volume 57. 166 pages. David G.

Meyers, “Psychology, fifth edition,” Worth Publishers, 1998, 610 pages. Ian Gray & Moira Stanley, “A Punishment in Search of a Crime,” published by Avon Books, 1989. 383 pages. Kuno Sandholzer, “Methods of Execution” Capital Punishment.com, 1999, 6 pages Hugo Adam Bedau, “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” American Civil Liberties Union1982. 24 pages. Stephen E. Schonebaum (editor), “Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime?” Greenhaven Press, Inc.

1998. 95 Pages. News Matters (video), “The Death Penalty Right or Wrong?” Knowledge Unlimited, Inc. 1997. approximately 15 minutes. Gary E.

McCuuen, “The Death Penalty and the Disadvantaged” Gary E. McCuen Publications Inc. 1997. 168 pages. Lynn S. Branham & Sheldon Krantz, “Sentencing, Corrections, and Prisoners Rights,” St. Paul, Minn.

West Publishing Co. 1994. 338 pages. Introduction This day in age murderers actions are getting more and more incomprehensive. They are no longer just committing murder: they are torturing, mutilating, and engaging in grossly inappropriate acts against fellow human beings. Behaviors such as this will continue if nothing is done to stop them.

The death penalty is a humane way to punish the convicted and deter these gruesome acts. Early as 1930, we can find the first recorded execution. Between the times of 1930 to 1967 there was a recorded number of 3,859 people executed. The following nine years would bring victory for those against capital punishment, there was no executions done in this time frame. Gregg vs. Georgia, Supreme Court of 1976 made a ruling that “the death penalty does not violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment.” The death penalty has been accepted by thirty-nine states of America (Newton, 1983). One of the basics in understanding capital punishment is the methods of which are used.

Which will be the first of things I will be presenting. I will be showing how selections of death row are made. The last of subject matters that I will be touching on are the problems with the process of capital punishment and a possible more effective approach. I will also be concluding my findings and ending with a thought of my own. Methods of Execution In the United States today, there are five existing methods of execution. These methods are used to kill convicted criminals that have been given the sentence of the death penalty.

The different methods are; lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad shootings. Lethal injection is currently used by thirty-six states in America. It is the most commonly used from of execution in the U.S. The preparation begins outside of the chamber with the use of a gurney. The convict is held to the gurney by wrist and ankle straps. There is then a cardiac monitor and stethoscope attached and started.

In each arm there is a saline intravenous line. The convict is then covered by a sheet. The lines are turned off and the felon receives the first injection of sodium thiopental. This puts the felon to sleep. They are then injected with Pavulon, which relaxes all of the muscles in the body and stops breathing.

Shortly after, the felon dies. The next method of execution used is electrocution. This method is done by putting the person in a wooden chair, which they are secured to by leather straps. The electric current runs through the head and out the leg. The first current is of two thousand or more volts of electricity, lasting only an approximated three seconds.

The voltage is then lowered to help prevent external burning of the body. The initial shock of the electricity causes the persons body to surge forward. The shock burns the internal organs or the person, which leaves them dead. During this process urinating, vomiting of blood, change in skin color, and even swelling or burning of the skin may occur. This method of execution is currently used by only eleven states. In a gas chamber execution the prisoner is put in a sealed steel chamber.

The prisoner is restrained in a chair that has a pan below. At the first signal a valve is opened which releases hydrochloric acid into the pan. When a second signal is given tablets or crystals of about eight ounces of potassium cyanide is dropped into the acid. This combination creates a hydrocyanic gas. The fumes of this deadly gas rise and are inhaled by the prisoner, which kills them.

The prisoner is pronounced dead and then the gas is sucked out of the chamber by big fans. Before the body is taken out it is sprayed with ammonia to neutralize any gas that still existed. Execution by the gas chamber started in attempt to find a more humane method than the electric chair. The gas chamber is currently used by only five states, that is less than electrocution. One of the oldest methods of execution that is still used, though in only three states, is hanging.

This method is based on the persons weight; therefore the person must be weighed prior to the hanging. The right amount of weight is needed in “the drop” to make sure that the death is instant and of minimal bruising (Sandholzer, 1999). If the weight is not of the proper amount it can cause a person to be strangled or possibly beheaded. The way that this is performed is by the use of a noose, which is placed behind the persons left ear. When dropped the persons neck is dislocated, causing death.

The last of executions still used, which is also an old one, is shooting by a firing squad. Execution by a firing squad is the most popular in the world. More than sixty countries use it as a method. In the United States, however, only three states use shooting by a fire squad as a sentence to the death penalty. The way in which a shooting takes place starts by the prisoner being bound to a chair and placed in front of an oval wall.

The doctor locates the heart by use of a stethoscope and places a target over it. Only twenty feet from the target are the trained shooters. Only one of the shooters gun holds the bullet that will take the life of the convict. They all shoot their guns at once, so that no one knows who made the fatal shot. All of these procedures are done fast, and with the least amount of pain possible, if any at all.

For anyone to say that these methods are not humane, would be unrealistic. The convicts whom have been sentenced to walk the green mile have really gotten off easy in my eyes. Many of them have committed cruel, torturous acts on innocent human beings. Why do they deserve to die in a peaceful, humane way? They dont, but because under our constitution no one shall under go cruel and unusual punishment, though that is what they have done to others. Felons should feel lucky that capital punishment is so humane.

Death Row Sentencing There are many logical factors that determine a person being sentenced to death. A criminals past record and the seriousness of the crime currently committed are two major factors in determining death row sentencing. These factors are what have sent more men to death row than women. Some people believe that the selection of death row is unfair due to the number of men vs. women facing it. Jurors have many things to consider when convicting the accused.

How brutal was it, how many people were killed, was it premeditated, was it torturous? These are all things that the jurors considering when determining the fate of the accused. Of course they also have to keep decide if the evidence proves, with out a doubt, the person is guilty. In sentencing a person to death row states often look at the persons background of violence. Other concerns that bring up past convictions of violent acts and murders help to lead jurors in their decision making process. Male murderers with earlier convictions are four times as likely to possess a judicial disadvantage than a female because of a prior violent felony charge (McCuen, 1997).

Women are not as quick to show aggression as men are. This increases the likely hood of a prosecutor to persuaded to go to capital trial and for the jury to sentence the death penalty. Effective Deterrent Deterrence is a theory that a threatened punishment must be of a severe enough consequence in order to counteract a criminals feel of pleasure to commit a crime. Specific deterrence is the inability of a convict to commit another crime in result to their given punishment. A person not committing a crime because of the severity of the punishment if they carry out with it is known a general deterrence. Murderers that come across as somewhat rational and intelligent, whom have committed a premeditated crime are those that the death penalty as a deterrent work. An analyzing study of data from the years 1936 to 1977 done by Professor Stephen Layson of the University of North Carolina made a significant conclusion about deterrence.

His conclusion was that eighteen murders are deterred in result to on execution. According to Laysons studies, if correct, somewhere around 125,000 murders have been deterred due to the threat of the death penalty as punishment (McCuen, 1997). McComb of the Supreme Court of California discovered fourteen examples in the police department of defendants whom, in explaining their refusal to carry a weapon or kill. This pointed to the fear of the death penalty. This is great evidence supporting that people are truly deterred by the presence of the death penalty.

The death penalty is a definate deterrent to crime, however it is not effective enough. The delayed punishment received is not paired closely enough to the crime. Therefore, the consequence of the death penalty doesnt always seem associated with the criminal act because of the long time before the execution takes place. The only way to condition criminal to view execution as a punishment to their behavior is by having it happen immediately after conviction and sentencing. This comes from the idea of classical conditioning and negative reinforcements (Meyers, 1998).

Problems The process of convicting a felon and sentencing them to death is very long. With the conviction and sentencing always comes appeal by the convicted. The constant appeals can lead to years in court, which costs millions of dollars. This is where the problem with a convict not seeing the death penalty as a punishment for their actions. The cost keeping a person on death row and the many years, sometimes as many is twenty-five is way too high. With new methods of presenting evidence of D.N.A.

the process needs to be sped up to make the death penalty to be a more effective deterrent. An Ending Thought As American citizens were are all born with certain rights. With these rights however, come responsibilities. When a person takes the life and rights of another human being they forfeit their rights. I believe the guilty party is lucky to get one of the humane executions used in America.

What ever happened to the idea of an “eye for an eye?” Executions used in the U.S. are extremely humane, especially when considering the brutality used by the condemned. For a long time our country has focussed on finding the most humane way to execute the convicted. We need to turn our heads in a new direction and start figuring out a shorter process for death row. Way too many tax dollars of the American people are used to defend the already convicted. With our modern techniques for presenting evidence, the accused should need only to be convicted once, followed b immediate execution.

To make capital punishment a more effective deterrent the process needs to be faster. There is no reason to spend years determining when and if the convicted will take the walk down the green mile. Bibliography David Von Drehle, “Among the Lowest of the Dead,” published by Times Books, 1995. 469 pages. Edited by Thomas Draper, “Capital Punishment,” published by H.

W. Wilson Company, 1985, Volume 57. 166 pages. David G. Meyers, “Psychology, fifth edition,” Worth Publishers, 1998, 610 pages.

Ian Gray & Moira Stanley, “A Punishment in Search of a Crime,” published by Avon Books, 1989. 383 pages. Kuno Sandholzer, “Methods of Execution” Capital Punishment.com, 1999, 6 pages Hugo Adam Bedau, “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” American Civil Liberties Union1982. 24 pages. Stephen E. Schonebaum (editor), “Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime?” Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1998.

95 Pages. News Matters (video), “The Death Penalty Right or Wrong?” Knowledge Unlimited, Inc. 1997. approximately 15 minutes. Gary E. McCuuen, “The Death Penalty and the Disadvantaged” Gary E. McCuen Publications Inc.

1997. 168 pages. Lynn S. Branham & Sheldon Krantz, “Sentencing, Corrections, and Prisoners Rights,” St. Paul, Minn. West Publishing Co.

1994. 338 pages.

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment Problems with Capital Punishment Dead Man Walking! This sound rings through each and every death row inmate a thousand times a day, but should it? Capital punishment is one of the most controversial topics among Americans today. Since every person has there own opinion on this topic, either for or against, the question always raised is Is it morally right.? The number of problems with the death penalty are enormous, ranging from innocence to racism, and these problems will never be resolved unless the death penalty is abolished. The problems with capital punishment stem as far back as the ritual itself. The number of occurrence on why the death penalty is racist is uncountable. A 1990 report released by the federal government’s General Accounting Office found a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in the charging, sentencing and imposition of the death penalty after the Furman decision (Bedau, p.55).

Professor David Baldus examined sentencing patterns in Georgia in the 1970’s. After reviewing over 2,500 homicide cases in that state, controlling for 230 non-racial factors, he concluded that a person accused of killing a white was 4.3 times more likely to be sentenced to death than a person accused of killing a black. The Stanford Law Review published a study that found similar patterns of racial despair, in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and many other states. For example, in Arkansas “findings showed that defendants in a case involving a white victim are three-and-a-half times more likely to be sentenced to death; in Illinois, four times; in North Carolina, 4.4 times, and in Mississippi five times more likely to be sentenced to death than defendants convicted of murdering blacks” (Winters, p.78). There is also the issue of Capital Punishment being a deterrent.

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Does the death penalty really deter crime? The death lobby wants you to believe the answer to that estion is yes. But, in fact, it is a resounding NO. Consider this, the US is the only Western nation that still allows the death penalty, and we also have one of the highest crime rates. During the 1980s, death penalty states averaged an annual rate of 7.5 criminal homicides per 100,000, while abolition states averaged a rate of 7.4 per 100,000. That means murder was actually more common in states that use the death penalty.

In a nationwide survey of police chiefs and sheriffs, capital punishment was ranked last as a way of reducing violent crime. Only twenty-six percent thought that the death penalty significantly reduces the number of homicides. The theory behind the deterrence doctrine is flawed itself. Murderers do not examine risk/reward charts before they kill someone. Being a criminal is inherently irrational..life imprisonment ought to deter a rational person itself.

Besides, no criminal commits a crime if he believes he will be caught. The next issue that deserves some observation is that of capital punishment being economically correct, meaning will it save the U.S. and its taxpayers money. The death penalty is not now, nor has it ever been, a more economical alternative to life imprisonment (Winters, p.99). A study informed that reintroduction would involve a first-year cost of more than $11 million. And the Miami Herald reported that Florida, with one of the nation’s largest death rows, has estimated that the true cost of each execution is approximately $3.2 million, or approximately six times the cost of a life-imprisonment sentence. The last issue that should be observed is that of innocence.

Are there really innocent people on death row? At least twenty-three people have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of. And that’s only those that we know. And here lies an inherent danger of capital punishment..when we execute an innocent person; the real killer is still on the streets, ready to victimize someone else. But when an innocent person is arrested, he is often the driving reason behind further investigation, and if he is executed, than the case remains closed forever. Or, at least, until someone else gets killed by the real perpetrator. Capital punishment is a power that no man or woman deserves to make for another human being. The Constitution clearly states that everybody deserves, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; But if you kill that person how can any of this be attained? Capital punishment is just plain wrong and has no place in today’s society.

There are too many flaws in the death penalty; therefore the only reasonable solution is to abolish the death penalty. Social Issues.

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment Capital punishment is the execution of a perpetrator for committing a heinous crime (homicide), and it is a hotly debated topic in our society. The basic issue is whether capital punishment should be allowed as it is today, or abolished in part or in whole. My argument is that: 1) Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent for heinous crimes. 2) Life imprisonment can be worse of a punishment than death, not as costly as execution, and better for rehabilitation. 3) The innocent can be wrongly put to death.

Conclusion: Capital punishment should be abolished. Though capital punishment might seem like the only way to get revenge, it is morally unjust. Who are we to decide whether a person should live or die? It is morally wrong, individually or through government action, to seek revenge on a murderer by means of execution. The death penalty violates our right to life. Capital Punishment is Not an Effective Deterrent As justification for capital punishment, deterrence is used to suggest that executing murderers will decrease the homicide rate by causing other potential murderers not to commit murder from fear of being executed themselves and obviously the murderer who is executed will not kill again.

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This position may seem initially correct, and indeed, in a USA Today Poll, 68% of respondents agreed that the death penalty is an effective deterrence for crimes. However, some research suggests that rather than deterring homicide, state executions actually may cause an increase in the number of homicides (Stack, 1990). This phenomenon has been called the brutalization hypothesis and it suggests that through proposition, modeling, or by legitimizing killing, the death penalty actually causes an increase in homicides. Thus, the brutalization hypothesis is a reason for opposing the death penalty. On the other hand, a study prepared for the UN in 1988 showed that abolishing the death penalty shows no significant change in the number of crimes committed.

Since Canada’s abolishing of the death penalty in 1975, homicide rate actually decreased 27 percent (up to 1993). Life Imprisonment Life imprisonment can be worse of a punishment than death for many convicted murderers. Instead of an easy out, these people will have to live out their lives without many of the freedoms and rights you and I take for granted. These people will be told when to wake, when to eat, when to work, and when to sleep. They will live out the rest of their days with the same monotonous routine, and after a while, many become so accustomed to it, that they lose their skills for live on the outside. Some of those who support the death penalty base their argument on the fact that it is a cost-effective alternative to life imprisonment.

However, it may be more costly to execute an inmate than to have that person serve a life sentence (Amnesty International, 1987). A 1982 study in New York concluded that the average capital murder trial and the first stage of appeals costs U.S. tax-payers 1.8 million dollars (Bohm, 1987). It is estimated that this is less than it would cost to incarcerate someone for one hundred years. Other sources estimate that it can cost up to 2.2 million dollars to obtain and carry out a death sentence (Johnson, 1990).

The principal factor in this cost is the appeals process, which lasts an average of ten years and is deemed necessary to reduce the likelihood of the execution of an innocent person. Obviously, the execution of a murderer deems him/her incapable of murdering again. However, those who support the concept of rehabilitation say that imprisonment is effective in preventing murderers from killing again. Murderers have the lowest rate of re-committing a homicide than people who have served time for other offenses (Johnson, 1990). The Innocent With convictions and executions, there is always a chance that someone was wrongly filed with charges. What are we to do with these people? In a study of capital convictions from 1900 to 1986 conducted by Radelet and Bedau, 350 cases were identified in which defendants were mistakenly convicted of crimes they did not commit, and of these 350, 24 were executed.

Though 24 un-called for executions in 87 years don’t sound too bad, the number should be zero. Society must determine whether the risk of wrongly executing an innocent person is worth taking to reap the benefits of executions of convicted murderers. Conclusion The latest information for Amnesty International states that 70 countries have completely abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Thirteen countries have abolished the death penalty for all but exceptional crimes, such as wartime crimes. Twenty-three countries haven’t abolished the death penalty by law, but haven’t carried out any executions in the last ten years. Once abolished, most countries do not reintroduce the death penalty.

Since 1985, 35 countries have abolished the death penalty. During that period, only four reintroduced it – Nepal then once again abolished it. During 1998 at least 2,258 prisoners are known to have been executed in 37 countries and 4,845 sentenced to death in 78 countries. These figures include only cases known to Amnesty International; the true figures are certainly higher. More than one hundred countries have laws preventing child offenders (under the age of18) from the death penalty. Six countries are known to have executed child offenders.

The largest number of executions of persons under the age of eighteen was ten in 1990 in the United States. One of the most important developments in recent years has been the adoption of international treaties where countries commit themselves to not having the death penalty. Three such treaties exist now: The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which has been by 40 countries; The Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which has now been ratified by 33 European countries; Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, which has been ratified by six countries in the Americas and signed by two others. Protocol No.

6 is meant only to abolish the peace penalty in peacetime. The other two are meant for total abolishment. Sixty-eight prisoners were executed in the United States in 1998, bring the total for an even five hundred since the death penalty was resumed in 1977. Over 3500 prisoners were under the sentence of death as off April 1, 1999. Thirty-eight of the fifty US states now provide for the death penalty law.

The death penalty is also provided under the US military and civilian law. Hopefully I’ve made the point that the death penalty is useless except for delivering some sort of closure to a victims’ loved ones, through this type of closure is morally wrong, and can be achieved through life imprisonment of the murderer. And because capital punishment is not an effective deterrent, because life imprisonment is a better option, and because the innocent wouldn’t have to die; capital punishment should be abolished. Philosophy Essays.

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