Death Penalty Essay Research Paper Death PenaltyI

Death Penalty Essay, Research Paper

Death Penalty

I feel that the Death Penalty is wrong, and I dont see how anyone could justify killing somebody

with killing somebody. I think our socity is just using this for a “band-aid” for the real problems

of our socity, we need to get back to our roots and stop the problems before they start. Nobody

knows the date and the hour in which they will die, but in many states now you know the date and

hour very well. Also there are to many issues that nobody but God should decide on, read what


The Rights and Privileges of Prisoners

During the past year, there has been increasing discussion of the rights and privileges of

prisoners. Some of these–such as exercise and weight lifting–relate to the prisoners’ physical

capabilities after release. Others–such as access to law books–may affect whether and when

they are released. Others–these include requirements for hard physical labor, such as chain

gangs, as well as privleges such as television–relate to the question of how unpleasant the

prison experience should be. A discussion of these issues takes us to the heart of what

punishment is all about. Is it intended primarily to reform, to deter, or is its purpose mainly

retributive? Are there any limits on how unpleasant the prison experience can be made? At

what point does punishment become torture?

Justice and Money

The OJ trial was one of the most expensive in history, and it is clear that Simpson’s financial

resources enabled him to mount a defense vastly superior to anything that most individuals

would be able to present. Furthermore, those same financial resources made it much easier

for the defense to remain one step ahead of the prosecution from the very beginning. What

role should money play in the criminal justice system? The demands of justice seem to stress

that we try to be impartial, to treat all defendants the same; yet money seems to insure that

some defendants will be treated differently than others. The public defender system attempts

to remedy some of these inequalities. Should be be any additional restrictions or changes in

the system to insure more equal treatment for rich and poor before the law?

Justice and Race

The verdict in the OJ trial raised a number of important questions about the place of race in

the criminal justice system. To what extent do you think that race was an issue in deciding on

OJ’s guilt or innocence? What is the proper role of race in such deliberations?

The Death Penalty, IQ, and Age

We are shocked when terrible crimes are perpetrated by individuals who are extremely

young. Time Magazine, for example, published “Murder in Minature,” the story of 11 yr old

Yummy Sandifer–who killed and was killed in Chicago. Recently, a convicted murderer with

an IQ of 70 was executed. What restrictions should we have on those who can be sentenced

to death? Should there be a minimum age, such that convicted felons under that age cannot

be sentenced to death? Should there be an minimum IQ, such that convicted felons who are

below that IQ cannot be senteced to death either because they may have had diminished

responsibility in the first place or because they would have a diminished ability to participate

in their own defense?

Wrongful Murder Convictions and the Death Penalty

What are the implications, if any, of the fact that sometimes we wrongfully convict–and in

some cases, execute–people for murder? Should this be seen in utilitarian terms, or should

the death of just a single innocent person be sufficient to dissuade us from the use of this

penalty? To what extent are such convictions racially biased? For a recent example of such a

cnviction, see Don Terry , “DNA Tests, Confession Set 3 on the Path to Freedom in 1978

Murders,” The New York Times, June 15, 1996. “Four black men, falsely convicted of

murder and rape and having spent 18 years in prison, are now free – in large part because of

DNA tests and the efforts of supporters who gathered evidence.” The Northern Illinois

University Department of Sociology maintains statistics on Wrongful Murder S

Executions and Suffering

Sometimes criminals suffer more during their executions than is anticipated or planned. See,

for example, the Time Magazine account (May 23, 1994) of the execution of John Wayne

Gacy, “A Twist Before Dying” by David Seideman. What is the moral significance of cases

such as these? Is it a factor in deciding whether the death penalty should be prmitted? Wht

counts as “cruel and unusual” punishment? Although there are obviously degrees of cruelty,

is the death penalty inherently cruel?

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