Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Is capital punishemtn a deterrent Essay Example for Free
Is ceiling punishemtn a preventive EssayRunning Head Abstract Indeed statistics will tape that superior penalization is not an effective deterrent to iniquity effective comparisons show that in that location is no signifi deposet correlation mingled with declineed curse place and the deterrent effect in takes which follow up the conclusion penalization purge with the incorporation of socio-economic elements as evidenced in comparing Virginia against west Virginia. In fact, the opposite is full-strength that the abhorrence rate tends to be lower in states with show up the finis penalisation.The volume support upper-case letter penalization although the prevailing attitude which is sh atomic number 18d by the g everyplacenment as well, is to implement it more cautiously with regards to veritable issues and sectors as legal, ethical and honorable challenges drop been raised against it and the criminal justice system as a whole. Is capital penalization an effective deterrent as compared between states for and against with similar socio-economic backgrounds?Hypothesis Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime this hypothesis will be turn out through on-going studies on the issue as well as criminal justice statistics which will show that on that point is no significant correlation between lowered crime rates and the deterrent effect in states which implement the expiry penalty. In fact, the opposite is true that the crime rate tends to be lower in states without the finis penalty.I. Brief history of expiration penalty in fall in States and tyrannical Court decisions The decease penalty t hightail its its roots in quaint history, making its outgrowth appearance in the Codes of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon where 25 kinds of crime warranted the ultimate punishment of remainder. From the ancient Hittites to the Draconian Code of Athens, the punishment was more mischievous as all crimes merited the death pe nalty.During the time of Jesus Christ, the Ro spell justness of the Law Tablets prevailed and routinely invoked much(prenominal) methods as crucifixion, impalement and even being burned to death as penalties (DPIC, 2008). America traces its use of the death penalty to the British settlers with the first known recorded execution in the colonies carried out for a man accused of being a spy for Spain.The death penalty reached a point where it was even meted out to authoritatively less serious offenses although each colony was left to its own discretion as to how to implement it. tied(p)tually, the Age of Enlightenment created a movement which felt that the death penalty was totally wrong on a whole lot of levels. The abolitionist movement which arose from this period strongly voiced its opinion that there was no way to justify the taking of a persons life regardless of what he may have weare against society.But even as there were formal attempts towards the reformation of the pena lty in terms of actually changing the specific death penalty mandates of some states, it wasnt until the mid-19th century that more successful strides in this regard was made the first calls were for the imposition of the death penalty on truly serious crimes ulterior, states in this linguistic context began to review the crimes which they felt really warranted the death penalty changing the manner of executions from being very public to more private confines within sassyly build correctional penitentiaries (DPIC, 2008).Eventually, an American state finally mustered its constituency to abolish the death penalty with Michigan taking this perspicuous honor in 1846 followed later by several more states. But even as some states becalm held onto capital punishment, general reforms on the issue began to shape not however the concept of death penalty, but of the entire criminal justice system as well. There followed greater distinction and sensitiveness as to what crimes necessit ated the death penalty.The establishment of statutes for one made the justice system more objective and just instead of an automatic imposition of the death penalty on capital crimes regardless of the facts surrounding the case, discretional statutes allowed for an examination of the facts before sentencing was made. But it was only in the latter discontinue of the twentieth century that oftentimes of the spirited discussion on the death penalty took a more significant turn when the United States compulsive Court took a major role in threshing out some of the thornier points of arguing in the debate.Some of its major decisions include 1. Ruling out the unconstitutionality of the death penalty specifically at a lower place the Eighth Amendment in 1958 in the case of Trop v. Dulles (356 U. S. 86), it was argued that the death penalty at this point in time (1958) was indeed cruel and unusual punishment and as such(prenominal), that it can no longer be considered as something in k eeping with Americas standards of decency and should therefore be abolished (DPIC, 2008). 2.That the death penalty can be imposed only when a jury recommends it was rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in two cases where the prosecutor and the jury had all important(predicate) roles to play in the meting out of the death penalty in capital crimes in U. S. v. Jackson (390 U. S. 570), the Court upheld that the practice was unconstitutional because it encouraged defendants to waive their right to a jury trial to ensure they would not receive a death sentence (DPIC, 2008).In Witherspoon v. Illinois (391 U. S. 510) the Supreme Court held that a persons mere hesitancy or reservation towards the death penalty is not enough reason to have him or her disqualified from being part of the jury in a death penalty case disqualification could only be possible if it can be proved that more substantial display of attitudes can actually affect the outcome of the case. Later similar cases such as in Crampton v. Ohio and McGautha v.California tackled the issue of whether the jury as both the power to not only impose the death penalty as they see fit, but that they could also determine in a single deliberation, the verdict as well as the resulting sentence in this regard, the Supreme Court in favor of the jury having the ultimate discretion (DPIC, 2008). But in the landmark case Furman v. Georgia (408 U. S. 238)), the Supreme Court again was compelled to decide on these same issues, the result of which was the voiding of 40 death penalty statutes (DPIC, 2008).This had a double edged outcome even as the death penalty had been deemed unjust (and reinforcing statutes voided in this regard), it tacit allowed states who still wanted the death penalty to keep it reinstated by simply re-writing their death-penalty statutes. In later years, the debate has shifted equally on both sides. As the United States has opted to keep the death penalty in a global circle of adherents wh ich keep on shrinking, it has however imposed limitations with regards to controversial areas.Special areas of bear upon with regards to the imposition of death penalty include issues in cases of mental illness and retardation the factor of race with a disproportionate number of blacks on death row the constitutionality of executing juvenile offenders. Another important issue is wrongful convictions. As addressed in the case Herrera v. Collins (506 U. S. 390 (1993)) the Supreme Court has mulled over the possibility that people on death row who profess their innocence could actually be irreproachable (DPIC, 2008).An important outcome of the case was that new evidence for possible innocence could be weighed and a new trial possibly considered. Numerous inmates on death row have been released because of this and their innocence subsequently support through new scientific evidence and technology. II. Stating the problem Does capital punishment deter crime? The crucial question woul d seem to be, does capital punishment really deter crime?If public opinion were to be taken as a simplistic barometer to answering this question, it would show that capital punishment as intimidation is perceptual, not factual. The Gallup Poll news service has recorded surveys beginning from 1936 up to the present day which show that public perception is reactionary- people tend to favor it more when confronted with violent and sensational crimes and then go to record lows when there arent any (cited in Gallup Poll, 2004).The fact that the United States is showing declining numbers in death sentences being meted out, from 300 in 1998 down to roughly half of that (143) in 2003 (DPIC, 2008) doesnt strike anything except the fact that there are numerous challenges against the criminal justice system which makes for the handing out of death sentences far more difficult than it used to be.Pro-abolitionists are pointing out however that the single most win over evidence against the de ath penalty may be the fact that crime statistics and trends show that of the dozen states that have chosen not to enact the death penalty have not had high homicide rates than states that still impose the death penalty (Bonner, 2000). Highly revealing is the fact that the 10 of the 12 states without capital punishment have homicide rates far below the national average while contrastingly, more than half the states who still impose death have rates above the national average (Bonner, 2000).A state-by-state analysis raise that during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48 portion to 101 percent higher than in states without the death penalty (Bonner, 2000). Other interesting factual points include the fact that homicide rates have risen and fallen along roughly symmetrical paths in the states with and without the death penalty which center simply that the death penalty as a deterrent doesnt really work (Bonner, 2000).Critics who are pro- death penalty point out however that there may be other factors which contribute to lower or higher crime rates which are not solely the effect of having or not having the death penalty. They point out other factors contributory to homicide rates such as the states demographics, unemployment and police or state defense and security pen. But the analysis found that the demographic profile of states with the death penalty is not far different from that of states without it.The poverty rate in states with the death penalty, as a whole, was 13. 4 percent in 1990, compared with 11. 4 percent in states without the death penalty (Bonner, 2000). III. Virginias death penalty vs. western hemisphere Virginias life imprisonment A significant point of comparison to make would be between Virginia which still upholds the death penalty as against West Virginia which chooses to mete out life imprisonment.In Virginia, there have been so far 94 executions as of 2005 since the 1976 reinstatement of th e death penalty to be worthy for the death penalty in this state, one must have committed a capital crime chthonian specific circumstances which can include among other things robbery or attempted robbery rape or attempted rape or sodomy, or attempted sodomy, the killing of a law enforcement officer a multiple homicide murder for hire murder while incarcerated, etc (VADP, 2005). Virginia Crime Demographic Vs.West Virginia Crime Demographic In the year 2000 Virginia had an estimated population of 7,078,515 which ranked the state 12th in population this is compared with West Virginia which had an estimated population of 1,808,344 putting it at a rank of thirty-seventh over-all. In that same year, Virginias total crime index was 3,028. 1 reported incidents per 100,000 people, ranking it 41st boilersuit. In comparison, West Virginia had a total Crime Index of 2,602. 8 reported incidents per 100,000 people ranking it at 47th highest over-all (DC, 2007).In terms of violent crime, Virg inia had a reported incident rate of 281. 7 per 100,000 people ranking it 37th overall in comparison, West Virginia had a reported incident rate of 316. 5 per 100,000 people ranking it 34th highest occurrence for Violent Crime among the states (DC, 2007). For crimes against Property, the state had a reported incident rate of 2,746. 4 per 100,000 people, which ranked as the state 41st highest. In comparison, West Virginia reported incident rate of 2,286.3 per 100,000 people, which ranked it 47th highest (DC, 2007) Also in the year 2000 Virginia had 5. 7 Murders per 100,000 people, ranking the state as having the 20th highest rate for Murder its 22. 8 reported Forced Rapes per 100,000 people, ranked it 45th highest for Robbery, per 100,000 people, its rate at 88. 9 ranked the state as having the 28th highest for Robbery. In comparison West Virginias figures are the by-line at 2. 5 Murders per 100,000 people, it ranks 38th highest rate for Murder for 18.3 reported Forced Rapes per 100 ,000 people, its ranking stands at 49th highest for Robbery, per 100,000 people, its rate at 41. 4 ranks it as having the 41st highest for Robbery (DC, 2007) For about 164. 3 provoked Assaults for every 100,000 people, Virginia ranks at the 40th highest position for this crime among the states every 100,000 people had about 429. 9 Burglaries, which ranks it at the 46th highest standing among the states. In comparison, West Virginia had 254.2 Aggravated Assaults for every 100,000 people, which indexed the state as having the twenty-fourth highest position for this crime among the states for every 100,000 people there were 546. 9 Burglaries, which ranks it as having the 36th highest standing among the states (DC, 2007). In larceny, Virginia had theft reported 2,064. 8 times per hundred thousand people which ranks it as the 38th highest among the states baffled down Vehicle Theft occurred 251. 6 times per 100,000 people, which makes it good for 38th highest for vehicle theft overall.F or West Virginia, Larceny Theft were reported 1,556. 1 times per hundred thousand people which ranks it 50th highest among the states tough down, Vehicle Theft occurred 183. 3 times per 100,000 people, which ranks the state as having the 43rd highest for vehicle theft overall (DC, 2007). In terms of economy and socio-economic indicators, it is significant to note that the expectation of poverty indicators as suggestive of influencing higher crime rates does not hold true in this comparative analysis of crime demographics between Virginia and West Virginia.Economically, Virginia dwarfs West Virginia in economic size and strength According to the 2004 U. S. Bureau of Economic depth psychology report, Virginias gross state product was $326. 6 billion. The per capita personal income was $35,477 in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, Forbes Magazine voted Virginia as having the best climate for business in the United States citing economic growth, business costs/incentives and quality of life (Wi kipedia, 2007) In comparison, West Virginias has been described as very fragile and that according to the U.S. Census Bureau is the tercet lowest in per capita income ahead of only Arkansas and Mississippi and ranking last in normal household income (Wikipedia, 2007). While it is simplistic to assume that other factors dont come into play such as the dynamics of crime with changing median incomes, it is hard to ignore the consistency by which the state of West Virginia has bested Virginia in the incidence of various crimes, both capital or lesse in nature across the same population samples.This gives some credence to the argument that even as it cannot be entirely proven that the death penalty does not outrightly deter crime, its use doesnt give any clear or dramatic evidence that it as as effective as other means of deterents. The fact as proven by the comparison between two states with entirely different socio-economic profiles and crime demographics tends to affirm that those states who dont use it, do have lower crime rates as a whole. IV. estimable and moral issuesrace factor/exonerations/ juvenile/mental health issues The ethical and moral discussions over capital punishment have strong universal resonance almost since its inception, the the United Nations General Assembly for its part has adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights which inevitably promoted a right of life. It was one of the first institutions to recognize and point out attention to the implications of applying the death penalty to juveniles, pregnant women, and the elderly.The international community followed in its footsteps with progressive endeavors in drafting treaties which included the issue of capital punishment and the right to life it has to be noted though that these treaties to some extent allowed death as punishment, but only in certain extreme circumstances. Despite this exception, many nations throughout Western Europe stopped using capital punishment, even if the y did not, technically, abolish it. As a result, this de facto abolition became the norm in Western Europe by the 1980s. (cited in Schabas, 1997).While still holding on to its belief in capital punishment, the United States however has travel towards limitations which it has effectively applied to the ethical and moral questions of the death penalty being applied to juveniles, women, blacks and even the mentally challenged. Some limitations though such as the one evidenced from the 1977 Coker v. Georgia case still stirs up debate as to how the court can stretch the boundaries of limitations. In this case, the U. S. Supreme Court established that the death penalty was an unconstitutional punishment for the rape of an adult woman simply because the victim wasnt killed.In Ford v. Wainwright, the Supreme Court command that extreme care should be taken in capital punishment cases where it can be established that the defendant might be certified to be all mentally ill or mentally retard ed as a result, the Supreme Court in this case, banned the execution of insane persons pending establishment of mental incompetence. Notable was Penry v. Lynaugh in 1989 where the Court upheld that executing persons with mental retardation was not a misdemeanour of the Eighth Amendment but it later reversed itself when in Atkins v.Virginia in 2002, the Court pointed out that national and collective consensus against the meting out of the death penalty on the mentally challenged did indeed qualify it as being cruel and unusual punishment under the Eight Amendment (DPIC, 2008). flow has become a controversial issue due to the fact that as Amnesty International reports Even though blacks and whites are murder victims in nearly equal numbers of crimes, 80% of people penalize since the death penalty was reinstated have been execute for murders involving white victims.More than 20% of black defendants who have been executed were convicted by all-white juries (Cited in Amnesty Report). In Virginia, a study by Civil Liberties Union has brand the states administration of capital punishment as unequal, unfair and irreversible and citing that race is a controlling factor in the way the death penalty is administered in Virginia (cited in ACLU, 2003). It is in this context that the Supreme Court in Batson v.Kentucky (1986) provides for scrutiny against a prosecutor who might be biased through striking out jury members of a similar case in a disproportionate manner. In the 1987 case of McCleskey v. Kemp (481 U. S. 279), statistical analysis was used as evidence to point out racial secernment in Georgia states administration of the death penalty. The Supreme Court however ruled it out saying that racial disparities would not be recognized as a constitutional violation of equal protection of the law unless intentional racial discrimination against the defendant could be shown (DPIC, 2008).With regards to the application of the death penalty on juveniles, three significant cases allowed the Supreme Court to rule that the execution of offenders aged fifteen and younger at the time of their crimes was unconstitutional. However, juvenile offenders under the age of 16 who have committed capital offenses can be executed if the state that has jurisdiction over their case does not have a minimum age in its death penalty statute furthermore, the Supreme Court also held that under the Eighth Amendment, there was no effective prohibition for the imposition of capital punishment for offenders aged 16 or 17.V. Conclusion death penalty not a deterrent according to statistics, however majority support capital punishment. Indeed statistics will show that capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime effective comparisons show that there is no significant correlation between lowered crime rates and the deterrent effect in states which implement the death penalty even with the incorporation of socio-economic elements as evidenced in comparing Virginia ag ainst West Virginia.In fact, the opposite is true that the crime rate tends to be lower in states without the death penalty. The majority support capital punishment although the prevailing attitude which is dual-lane by the government as well, is to implement it more cautiously with regards to certain issues and sectors as legal, ethical and moral challenges have been raised against it and the criminal justice system as a whole.References ACLU (2003) New ACLU Report Finds Virginia Death penalization System Riddled with Flaws, Recommends Sweeping Changes.Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/ Amnesty Report (2003) United States of America Death by discrimination the continuing role of race in capital cases. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/ Bonner, R. (2000) States Without Death Penalty Have bring down Homicide Rates. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. sfgate. com/ DPIC (2008) Death Penalty Information Center. Ret rieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/.Disaster Center (2007) Virginia Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports 1980 to 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. disastercenter. com/crime/vacrime. htm Disaster Center (2007) West Virginia Law Enforcement Agency Uniform Crime Reports 1980 to 2005. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. disastercenter. com/crime/wvcrime. htm Gallup Poll proceeds (2004) Public Support Figures for Capital Punishment. Retrieved January 9, 2008 from http//www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/.Schabas (1997) The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law, Cambridge University Press. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from http//www. deathpenaltyinfo. org/ VADP(2005) Virginia Death Penalty Information. Retrieved January 9, 2008 from http//www. vadp. org/info. htm Virginia Economy (2008) Wikipedia. org. Retrieved January 9, 2008 from http//en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Economy_of_Virginia West Virginia Economy (2008) Wikipedia. org. R etrieved January 10, 2008 from http//en. wikipedia. org/wiki/West_virginia.