Monday, January 20, 2020

Capital Punishment Essay -- essays research papers

On July 2, 1976, almost two hundred years since the United States of America passed the Declaration of Independence, the Supreme Court legalized capital punishment (Appendix 1). Capital punishment executed for the crime of theft. Since then there have been an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people lawfully executed(Espy pp.194). In the eighteenth century, England would punish by death for crimes such as pick pocketing and petty theft. After the 1650's colonist could be put to death for denying the true god or cursing their parents advocates. Capital punishment has clashed for a long time in the forum of public opinion in state legislatures and most recently in courts. In 1972, the case of Furman vs. Georgia (Appendix 1) reached the supreme court. The court decided that punishment by death did indeed violate the Eighth Amendment and the prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment." Because of this decision death sentences all over the country were set aside. Since then capital punishment has become an increasingly controversial issue. In arguments against the death penalty in the United States, several themes have remained constant. Abolitionists have always claimed that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent, or at least, nobetter than long term imprisonment. Furthermore they argue that it imposed unreasonable risks in the possibility of executing the wrong person; that a willingness to use it tends to brutalize society; that it has never been administered in a morally unobjectable manner; and finally that it is used mainly against relatively defenseless members of minority groups. During the past generation, opposition to the death penalty has been put into the context of a struggle to wipe out racism. Among the foremost writers who have criticized the death penalty is Charles L. Black, Jr., Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School. In his book, Capital Punishment: The Inevitability of Caprice and Mistake, he deals with many of the problems surrounding capital punishment. In regards to race he asks the question, "Why are more than half the people on death row black in a country with about eleven percent blacks (78) ? According to a study brought by Black, in cases of a black killing a white, .214 are sentenced to death, while in a case of a white killing a black, .000 are sentenced to death (Appendix 2). In virtual... ...ther hand, what about an innocent person getting killed? Can we, as mere human's sentence another human being to death? In the end my feelings go with my religion. In a famous case in the Talmud, which surprisingly enough is cited in Black's book, the death penalty is discussed. Jewish law is full of the death penalty. Yet as time went on the court in ancient Jerusalem, without changing the Law, devised procedural safeguards so refined, so difficult of satisfying, that the penalty of death could only very rarely be exacted. So approved was this process that it is said in the Talmud that when one Rabbi called "destructive" a court that imposed the death sentence once in seven years, another said, " Once in seventy years", and two others said that, had they been on the great Court, no death sentence would ever have been carried out. It is my belief that in constructing these procedural safeguards to limit executions the Rabbi's were making a point. In essence they were saying, "Though the justice of God may indeed ordain that some should die, the justice of man is altogether and always insufficient for saying who these may be." I believe in the concep

No comments:

Post a Comment