DEATH PENALTYThe death penalty has been a staple in the justice system of Americasince its inception. Though very controversial, it has stood the test of time asthe ultimate punishment. Many countries are currently abolishing their deathpenalty practice. America, on the other hand, has thirty-eight of fifty stateswith laws regarding the death penalty.
It seems the United States requires thedeath penalty more than ever due to the increased rate of violent crime. Sincenineteen ninety more than three hundred fifty people have been put to deathwith another three thousand three hundred in the waiting on death row. On alarger scale, since nineteen seventy-six five hundred fifty-two executions haveoccurred in the United States, the breakdown is as follows: three hundredninety-four by lethal injection, one hundred forty-one by electrocution, elevenby gas chamber, three by hanging, and two by firing squad. Half of the post-nineteen seventy-six executions have occurred within the last five years,including fifty-two so far this year. Although the death penalty has broughtmany viscous criminals to a fitting end, the process by which the deathpenalty is based upon is an inconsistent one. The system of tangled appeals,court orders, and last minute pardons has rendered the entire systemineffective.Order now
As displayed by the swelling of the stagnant pool of death rowinmates, criminals are not deterred by the punishment. An evil deed is notredeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in thetaking of human life. Morality is never upheld by legalized murder. Many loopholes exist in the structure of the death penalty. Theoutcome of the case is decided by the quality of the lawyer defending theaccused.
Many criminals cannot afford a competent lawyer, resulting in agreater chance of that particular person being issued the death penalty, asopposed to life in prison. A fine line separates these two charges, and adefendant who can afford a competent lawyer stands less of a chance of beingassigned the death penalty than one who cannot. Also studies show that theapplication of the death penalty is racial biased. The amount of violentcrimes are split almost equally between the white and black ethnic groups.
Since nineteen seventy-seven eighty-two percent of the criminals assigned thedeath penalty have committed the crime in question against a Caucasian. Another glaring defect of the structure of the death penalty system in Americaare the laws regarding the sentencing of criminals under the age of eighteen. Minors can be sentenced to death in twenty-four states. Although thesecriminals have indeed committed crimes that could call upon the deathpenalty, they are children, with so much more learning and opportunitiesahead of them.
No person who is mentally inadequate or immature should beassigned a death penalty. Due to a U. S. Supreme Court ruling, mentallyretarded people can be put to death. Over thirty mentally impaired peoplehave been executed since the ruling.
The death penalty is cruel and inhumane. No matter how the deathpenalty is carried out, no man has the power to judge and sentence another todeath. Americans are taught that two wrongs do not make a right. Thisconcept is the basis of most types of religion found in America. Religion isthe basis of groups fighting the death penalty.
Also, moratoriums on thedeath penalty are increasing in number. Moratoriums would temporarilysuspend the death penalty while its fairness would be examined for future use. Illinois and Nebraska both passed moratorium bills in the spring of nineteenninety-nine, though neither were fully passed into law. The debate ofmorality in the death penalty is not a new one. The Supreme Court ruled thatexecution is a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which protects UnitedStates citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.
, on June twenty-ninth,nineteen seventy-two. The individual states stopped executions in nineteensixty-seven awaiting the ruling of this case. However in July of nineteenseventy-six the death penalty was upheld by the Supreme Court as a righteouspunishment for some crimes. For nine years, the death penalty wassuspended.The United States did not encounter an immense crime increasewhen considering two factors that the United States was faced with at thetime of this court ruling: the onslaught of the Vietnam Conflict, and the racialtensions sparked by the Civil Rights movement of the mid-sixties.Category: History