Death penalty is also referred to as capital punishment. It is used to punish various offenses. It was used in the past and is even being used nowadays. It is one of the most argued subjects in the criminal justice system. It is said to be the most atrocious and unusual penalty.
Why Death Penalty is a Problem for State Legislatures
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Death penalty has been such a problem for the state legislatures because, first, it has failed to rehabilitate. The offender has already died and cannot be brought back from death. Therefore, using capital punishment cannot rehabilitate the rest as most of the crimes are done on the heat of passion when the individual cannot think rationally (Bedeau, 2012). As a result, one does not have enough time to envisage fear in the heat of fervor. Secondly, it can lead to punishment of an innocent person due to false conviction.
In most cases known conclusive evidences have been found after the execution, and they could have saved the executed from the sentence (Scholasticus, 2011). This makes justice unalterable as it leads to community shame and penitence after they reveal they put to death innocent people (Bedeau, 2012). Thirdly, death sentence is cost effectual; this is because most sentence cases are petitioned in the higher courts which sustain more liability than execution (Scholasticus, 2011).
Human rights propagators consider capital punishment as a blatant abuse of an individual’s right to be alive. Furthermore, death penalty is seen as cruel, barbaric and inhuman, no matter how monstrous the crime is (Scholasticus, 2011). The state certified executions have a tendency of justifying the assassination of the immoral and overpowering the whole decision of capital punishment being a proper penalty for stern crimes (Scholasticus, 2011).
Additionally, the target of capital sentence can be for vengeance. Legal revenge coagulates social unity against the criminals and is the substitute to the personal vengeance of people who feel debilitated. Death penalty has also failed as a deterrent factor because concrete evidence that are able to dissuade potential lawbreakers from committing crimes has not been found (Scholasticus, 2011). It does not also give an offender a chance to be apologetic of his/her deeds or a fair chance to advance their conduct (Bedeau, 2012).
Moreover, death penalties can be racially or financially biased. Individuals with more social status and more money often get good defense as they can pay for consummate lawyers and inspiring proficient witnesses (Greene & Gabbidon, 2012). Besides, the fear of death does not reduce crime. For instance, offences such as rape, kidnapping, and murder have increased despite the fact that death penalties have always been the punishment for them.
The capital punishment always leaves the bereaved family bitter as they think that their member has been judged unfairly (Bedeau, 2012). As a result, the family can seek revenge resulting to more crimes. The state legislatures have realized that capital punishment breaches the constitutional assurance of equal protection since it is being applied haphazardly and discriminatorily (Greene & Gabbidon, 2012). Consequently, the individuals of low social status are judged unfairly making death sentence less effectual (Bedau & Cassell, 2004).
Capital punishment also is not a feasible form of crime management. It has been noted that stern punishment does not dishearten kidnappers and murderers as a result it does not daunt crime at all (Scholasticus, 2011).
The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) is operational for a cessation on capital punishment and it stops from certifying slaughter in the United States (Bedau & Cassell, 2004). They said that the superiority of the lawful representation is significant. This group researched that 90% of the immoral defendants remain impecunious by the time their case is up for a petition (Bedau & Cassell, 2004). The criminals end up receiving the death sentence since they do not have enough money to support them during the trials which is unfair (Bedau & Cassell, 2004).
Supreme Court’s Concern on Death Penalty
The Supreme Court is concerned about the death penalty because it is the court that determines the ruling on capital punishment (Herring, 2002). The death penalty case always comes before the Supreme Court for scrutiny three times before the ruling is done. In two of the cases the Supreme Court will deem its personal earlier verdict.
The three concerns that the Supreme Court approved to pay attention to are: executing the insane or mentally sick, racially prejudiced panel of judge selection and the right to a jury of one’s peers (Herring, 2002). The concern of the Supreme Court judges to make a decision on a capital punishment is of vast significance to the assurances summarized in the Bill of Rights (Herring, 2002).
In the majority of countries inside and outside the United States death penalty is debated on whether it should be abolished or retained. In some countries capital punishment has been forbidden by the law and abandoned because they view it to have more disadvantages than merits on the society. On the other hand, other nations have upheld the sentence since it has more merits than demerits on the public. Irrespective of the nation, the verdict on whether the sentence should be upheld or not depends on the state legislation and how it reduces crimes rates in the society.
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