The Chamber Essay, Research Paper
In the book The Chamber John Grisham shares the need for the death penalty in our society. The death penalty has existed as long as humans have existed. The quote “an eye for an eye” is found in the Bible. In the middle ages fines, public humiliation and imprisonment were appropriate punishments for all crimes, and death penalty for all murders. Today, Federal law states that the death penalty is to be enforced with convicted criminals for: treason; deserting armed forces during wartime; murder committed by a soldier; kidnapping and murder that involves crossing state lines; murder committed during an airplane hijacking; and of course, homicide. The death penalty is also called for punishment of for: attempting to kill anyone investigating or prosecuting his or her activities; advising, directing, authorizing or assisting in the murder of someone. Also, The Anti-Drug abuse act of 1988 calls for the death penalty for all drugs related killings. Along with that, The bill amending sec. 848 to controlled substances act calls for the death penalty or life imprisonment for certain drug offences possession of 10 or more kg of heroin, cocaine, phencyclidine or analogue. Added to that, The drug kingpin act sates the use of death penalty for convicted major drug dealers caught with huge quantities of drugs, over 66 lbs. of heroin and 330 lbs. of cocaine. Even though there are these federal laws requiring the use of the death penalty for the crimes, State laws only consider one crime, murder, to be a capital offense.
In the United States alone there have been 4047 executions since 1930, and 188 were from 1977-1996. In 1996, there were a total of 15,168,100 arrests; 33,050 for forcible rape; 1,506,200 involving
Drug violations and 19,020 for murder and non-negligent manslaughter. The death penalty was enforced 45 times. The death penalty is an expensive punishment, since 1976 the united states have spent 700
Million dollars in it. Methods of the death penalty include lethal injection, gas chamber, electric chair, and hanging and fire squad. In a 1986 poll 70% of Americans favored the death penalty as a punishment for murder.
On February 1, 2000, John Grisham celebrates the publication of his 11th novel THE BRETHREN. Eleven years ago, though, long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby — writing his first novel.
Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at OLE Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.
One day at the Dessoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a 12-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A TIME TO KILL and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.
That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career — and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A TIME TO KILL, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to THE FIRM to Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot
property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, THE FIRM became the best-selling novel of 1991.
The successes of THE PELICAN BRIEF, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and THE CLIENT, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A TIME TO KILL, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.
Since first publishing A TIME TO KILL in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are THE CHAMBER THE RAINMAKER, THE RUNAWAY JURY, THE PARTNER, and THE STREET LAWYER), and all of them have bestsellers, leading Publishers Weekly to declare him “the best-selling novelist of the 90s” in a January 1998 profile. They’re currently over 60 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Six of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, and The Chamber), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.
Grisham lives with his wife of 16 years, Renee, and their children, Ty, 14, and Shea, 12. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a 67 acre farm in Mississippi and a 204 acre plantation near Charlottesville, VA Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award $683,500 — the biggest verdict of his career.
When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes including taking mission trips with his church group. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local League commissioner. The six billfolds he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.
In the corridors of Chicago’s top law firm twenty-six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death row killer and an impossible case. While in a maximum security unit of a Mississippi state prison sits Sam Cayhall a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances–except for the young liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client and his grandfather. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets including one secret that could save Sam Cayhall’s life–or cost Adam his. . The Chamber expo0lres the judicial system of the United States of America and how it deals with the death penalty. In this book John Grisham shows how corrupt and easily influenced the system really is. John Grisham believes that the death penalty is a good way to handle the country’s filth and horrible people here in America. He makes comments in his reviews and even in his books that state that the death penalty is a system that is on the right track but just needs to be reformed. The jails are getting to overcrowd to house all the inmates safely. Grisham states that the appeal process should be cut down to a lesser amount of appeals. The system takes entirely too long for the countries own good. I have drawn the conclusion that Grisham believes the process takes too long to happen and that the courts should enforce the penalties sooner and without the ongoing delays that we have to stumble through now. All of John Grisham’s books deal with the topic of the United States Court system and the many aspects of it.
There have been many comparisons of crime rates of death penalty states to non- death penalty states. These clearly show that the death penalty has no effect on the deteration of crime. The homicide
rates in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois rise and fall along with Wisconsin. Michigan, Ohio and Illinois all have the death penalty. Wisconsin does not. In 1994, the average murder rate in a death penalty state of a population of 100,00 was 8.0, for a non-death penalty state, 4.4. In Canada the homicide rate per 100,000 people was 3.09 in 1975, this was when they had the death penalty. In 1976 Canada got rid of the death penalty. In 1986 the crime rate decreased to 2.19 per 100,000 people, the lowest in 15 years. Isn’t it odd that the crime rates were high with the death penalty and low without? Clearly this shows that the presence of the death penalty has no effect on the increase or decrease of crime rates. Even with the
Death penalty, crime rates continue to rise and fall in the United States. The number of people on death row in 1967 were in 1972: 200 and in 1997 3,100. Crimes will be committed weather or not death
Penalty is a method of punishment
Many people believe that the death penalty isn’t an effective way to deter crime. “The proposed drug death penalty is not only barbaric but also foolish: a temper tantrum masquerading as an act of government. It holds no promise for suppressing the drug trade, and may even be counterproductive” (Franklin E. Simony) Time magazine, 1997 said 52% of Americans do not believe the death penalty
Deters people from committing crime. In a recent poll of police chiefs, 2/3 said they don’t believe the death penalty deters crime but politicians use it as a political football. Some people aren’t afraid of dying, either. They have realized that everyone must die, so they have no fear of dying at any moment of time. This fact also forbids the death penalty from being 100% effective. In Britain, 167 people were one death row. 164 of them said they witnessed at least one execution before the committed their crime. They committed the crime even though they had seen an execution before and that didn’t scare them.
Since the death penalty has no effect on the deteration of crime, what does? New York lowered crime rates by putting more police officers on the street, not by longer jail terms or death penalty.
This was effective because if one thinks about it, if one was to rob a store, first he would look around about see if any police officers were around, and if he sees one ridding around the block and another
Patrolling the streets, he would think twice about it. Of course, hiring more police officers will cost a lot of money, but that will only be temporary. Criminals held in prison for long sentences means money now and money later, too. Also, the availability of handguns plays a major role in murder rates. It is a lot easier to kill someone by putting one bullet in his head then beating him, stabbing or strangling (there are chances they can live) if we decrease the availability of handguns by increasing the price or banning the sale, then there will be less murders. Another thought is slavery should be used as a punishment for crimes. If all the miserable moments of a slave’s life were put together it would be more painful then any kind of punishment. In 1995 Hart Research Associated Poll asked law enforcement officers what they thought would help the deteration of crime. 31% said reduce drug abuse; 17% said better economy and jobs; 16% simplify court rules; 15% longer prison sentence; 10% more police officers; 3% reducing guns; and 1% expand death penalty.
There is some evidence, however that the death penalty is effective in the deteration of crime. “If all those caught producing addictive drugs, plus all of those caught selling addictive drugs in our country were confronted with capital punishment administered without recourse, by local authorities throughout our 50 states-then gradually this intolerable situation would be ameliorated and eventually conquered.” (W.H. Long) in 1988, Arthur Bishop was executed. During that year there were 47 murders. Before the date of the execution there were 26 murders executed and after that there were 21. (19% difference). In 1960, 56 there were 56 executions and 9,410 murders. In 1964 there were 15 executions and 9,250 murders. In 1969 to 1975 there were no executions and 35,100 murders. This clearly shows that the number of murders rise and the number of executions decrease. Also, Isaac Ehrlich concluded from his research that every execution prevented 8 murders.
The death penalty is not an effective way to deter crime. The only way to deter crime is to prevent it from happening, rather then enforce harsh punishment to “scare” off potential crimes. Studies show that there is no relation between crime rates with death penalty states and crimes rates without. Even though the
death penalty seems like a favorable punishment for people who have committed crimes, it has no effect on the deteration of crimes. Statistics show that there is no relationship between the number of crimes committed in death penalty states and the number of crimes committed in non-death penalty states.
While a majority of people believes the death penalty is a good punishment for crimes, they do not believe it helps get rid of and prevent crime. Other methods such as increased police officers and a decrease on the availability of handguns are 2 of many alternatives in prevention crimes. Enforcing a harsh punishment for committing a crime is not an effective way to prevent it from happening. Preventing crimes from happening is the most effective way to deter crime.
We need capital punishment or the death penalty as it is refered to so many times because it reduces the amount of overpopulation in our jails and then we are not wasting our tax dollars to support murders and rapists and other criminals. And in the book The Chamber John Grisham shares the need for the death penalty in our society.