Capital punishment is not new to American culture. For many years, "the death penalty was a cornerstone of the American criminal justice system" (Friedman, 2007, p. 8), and it wasn't until the 1960s that capital punishment started to be seen as anti-American, even immoral. Many people argued "that the capital punishment violated the Eight Amendmant's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment" (Friedman, 2007, p. 9), and that the death penalty was wrong because they felt the government should not be killing its citizens, even if that citizen committed a crime as atrocious as murder. But the Supreme Court disagreed, especially when certain criminal codes were rewritten so that the death penalty applied to only certain cases. For example, in Texas, capital punishment is reserved only for certain crimes, which includes killing an on-duty public safety officer, a child under ten years old, and ...
... middle of paper ...
...shed is that it is not applied equally to all defendants. "One stable pattern is that the offenders are more likely to be sentenced to death when victims are white rather than black" (Petrie 630). This hardly seems fair, as it implies that white victims are more valuable than victims, something that should not be true in the eyes of the criminal justice system. If murder is murder, then the justice handed out should be equal to all who commit such a crime.
Boys, Stephanie. (2011). The death penalty: An unusual punishment America is inflicting upon itself. Critical Criminology, 19(2), 107-118.
Friedman, Lauri S. (2007). The death penalty. San Diego, CA: Reference Point Press.
Petrie, Michelle A., & Coverdill, James E. (2010). Who lives and dies on death row? Race, ethnicity, and post-sentence outcomes in Texas. Social Problems, 57(4), 630-652.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A number 1263 men and women have been executed in the United States in the twenty five years ever since the Supreme Court has reintroduced the death penalty in 1976. Executions have been carried in the 34 states with the death penalty, with more than 80% taking place in the south. Texas and Virginia being the two top death penalty states with a shared number of 580 people executed. The death penalty is a controversial issue that has been debated for years. Proponents of the death penalty say it is justice better served, away of retribution or “an eye for an eye,” to bring closure to the families of murder victims.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
925 words (2.6 pages)
- Lately, it seems as if the death penalty has been in the news a lot. One is always hearing about an innocent man going free because of DNA testing, or protests outside of jailhouses as criminals are being put to death. Just recently, the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has fueled the debate even further, making many wonder what the debate is about. If a person commits murder, the logic goes, then that person should be killed too. An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. But what many do not realize is that the death penalty is not without its faults.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
915 words (2.6 pages)
- Throughout history, Americans have pursued what was needed or wanted; determination is the American way. If fledgling colonies needed more food to support families, a farmer cultivated more crops; if communities wanted more supplies, companies mass produced until desires were met. Nonetheless, if a new idea turned out to be corrupt, then the thought was discontinued and effaced from memory. In today’s twenty first century society, an idea from the past has become crooked and is no longer needed.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
1712 words (4.9 pages)
- Abolishing the Death Penalty in the United State According to the American English dictionary, death Penalty is the means by which convicted criminals are executed in accordance with the legal jurisprudence of the United States. Death Penalty is also referred to as “Capital Crime”(Capital punishment). Capital crimes are crimes such as “murder, rape, robbery, theft, mutiny, and treason” (Capital Punishment). People also use the term “Death Penalty” to refer to capital punishment (Capital Punishment).... [tags: crime, expensive, innocent, killing]
1474 words (4.2 pages)
- Abolishing the Death Penalty When taking a human life in response to a crime, a state is acting on behalf of all of its citizens. Capital punishment is an expensive procedure with permanent ramifications. It is therefore very important that the matter of capital punishment be seriously reconsidered. In order to protect all of America's citizens, I recommend that congress approve a constitutional amendment that reads: The states and the federal government shall not under any circumstances execute anyone.... [tags: Capital Punishment Justice Essays]
3082 words (8.8 pages)
- Capital Punishment Capital punishment should be abolished in Louisiana in order to optimize rehabilitation methods and increase spending in more important areas of the state budget. One alternative to the death penalty is rehabilitation. Prisons in Louisiana should not be viewed solely as confinement for inmates, but as a last resort for those looking to make serious life changes, even if they are condemned to life in prison. Since prisons are rapidly reaching maximum capacity, the government should really be looking to reform its current statutes to provide a rehabilitation center for criminals and provide a safer environment for all involved in the prison system.... [tags: essays research papers]
539 words (1.5 pages)
- The Abolishment of the Death Penalty As Americans we live in a modern republic under a government constructed to secure the rights of the people. Today’s government and judicial systems were forged by our founding fathers as they fought to establish a government free from tyranny and brutality and thereby forming a constitution based on civil liberties. Our country has grown and matured through the centuries and in effect has made changes and alterations as innovations and advancements have deemed necessary.... [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]
1040 words (3 pages)
- The Death Penalty As a Form of Justice Around the World Introduction: The death penalty is a subject that has become very big in the 21st century. Many centuries ago the death penalty is something that was widely practiced in almost all cultures. This revenge sort of action was the only way some old civilizations felt could really prevent criminals from breaking the law. The USA today is almost left alone among nations when it comes to the death penalty and the U.S. government does not have a problem with that.... [tags: Death Penalty Capital Punishment]
1457 words (4.2 pages)
- Fifty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the trend towards worldwide abolition of the death penalty is unmistakable. When the Declaration was adopted in 1948, eight countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes; today, as of November 1998, the number stands at 63. More than half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, and the numbers continue to grow. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty as a violation of fundamental human rights - the right to life and the right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.... [tags: essays research papers]
1993 words (5.7 pages)
- DEATH PENALTY The death penalty has been a staple in the justice system of America since its inception. Though very controversial, it has stood the test of time as the ultimate punishment. Many countries are currently abolishing their death penalty practice. America, on the other hand, has thirty-eight of fifty states with laws regarding the death penalty. It seems the United States requires the death penalty more than ever due to the increased rate of violent crime.... [tags: essays research papers]
737 words (2.1 pages)