Death penalty.docx - Running Head: THE DEATH PENALTY The...

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Running Head: THE DEATH PENALTY1The Death Penalty
THE DEATH PENALTY2IntroductionThe death penalty refers to the lawful execution of an offender, otherwise, known asCapital punishment. Numerous methods have been used in punishing capital offendersthroughout history. Beheading was a popular method, though it was never applied in the UnitedStates. Felons have been executed through shooting, gas chambers, hanging, electric chair, andlethal injection (A History of the Death Penalty in America, 2012). The death penalty is stillapplicable in thirty-one states and abolished in nineteen states in the United States. Lethalinjection is the method of choice in the states that still practice it as it is viewed not to beviolating the eighth amendment (Death Penalty Database, 2015). Despite this, executions rarelyoccur hence most of the death row inmates tend to die of natural causes.According to Amnesty International (2018), the death penalty has been abolished in onehundred and four countries around the world compared to sixteen countries in 1977. Capitalpunishment is viewed to be degrading, unkind and inhumane. Thus Amnesty is on the forefrontof the war against the death penalty. It can never be a solution to any problem but instead createsa culture prone to violence. It deprives one of the rights to life as well as torture (Death Penalty,2018). All the western democracies such as Europe and Canada have already eradicated the deathpenalty except for the United States.Key Concepts and constructs discussed are Deterrence to murder, Racial Disparities(equality assured by the law) and Errors (wrongful conviction).The likelihood of death-qualified jurors convicting the defendant are higher compared toan acquittal. They focus more on the aggravating factors as compared to the mitigating factorstrying to understand the entire process. Most jurors fail to follow the instructions in the penalty
THE DEATH PENALTY3stage hence end up convicting the defendant to death. In several instances, the clarificationoffered by the court on both mitigating and aggravating aspects is not tacit to the jurors.Therefore, they depend on their underlying notions to interpret instructions in the penalty stage.This has been proven through research thus increasing racial biases (Constanzo & Krauss, 2018).Throughout history, the blacks were always discriminated against the whites. Allegationsof rape against black men by white women resulted in several executions. Amendments to thelaws of the land made both whites and blacks equal constitutionally, though continueddiscrimination was still witnessed. Statistically, the likelihood of conviction of black men toreceive a death penalty from raping a white woman stood at eighteen times more significant thanother races in the 1970s (Constanzo & Krauss, 2018).According to a survey by AmnestyInternational (2003), in all the cases involving death penalties race played a significant role. Ofall the murder cases, 80% were due to a white victim and 20% or juries composed of all white

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