Research Paper May 7, 2007 Capital Punishment Capital punishment has been used since the beginning of man to punish people that have committed the most heinous crimes. All countries around the world, view capital punishment as a way to give criminals what they deserve and to rid the world of the people who will do nothing else but murder. The baffling protests against this ‘inhumane’ act started in America in the late twentieth century. People for some reason starting arguing and passing laws on how ruthless criminals could be punished and sentenced to death.
The strange thing about this is that caring people are trying to abolish the death penalty when in return if the murderers were sent free they would kill the very same people who are passing these laws without hesitation. The sentencing of death really wasn’t a popular act until the just after the middle Ages. ”England had mandated 14 offenses to be punishable by death, while the newly founded American colonies imposed the death penalty for far fewer crimes. Captain George Kendall in Jamestown, Virginia became the first recorded execution in the new colonies for the crime of espionage in 1608. The first known opposition towards capital punishment was in 1767. “Cesare Beccaria’s essay on Crimes and Punishment proposed that it is not necessary or just to punish by death. He favors life imprisonment and states, perpetual slavery.
This is all that is necessary to deter the most hardened and determined criminals from committing crimes. ” If I was going to commit a crime and new I was only going to spend life in prison for it, I would think I would be more likely to commit that crime than if I new if I committed it I was going to die for what I had done.It used to be that all death sentences had to be performed outside city hall for the entire public to see. “In 1834, public display of hangings was abolished and the state required each county to conduct private hangings in jail. ” I think this was a smart idea to get the pictures out of the average persons head, but then again you would not have to watch if you did not want to. In many countries for hundreds of year’s public execution has been a way of life. People actually looked forward to that ‘every first Tuesday of the month’ to watch the next set of executions take place on the courthouse lawn.
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In the twentieth century large abolitionists groups had started up to abolish the death penalty from the United States because of the inhumanity of the act. “In 1907, the abolitionist movement leads Kansas to abolish the death penalty. Eight other states either abolished or severely limited capital punishment. Over the next ten year however all but two states had reinstated the death penalty because of criminal build up in jails. ” One of the biggest problems we face today in the criminal world is not enough jail or prison space to hold the amount of prisoners we have.This leads to more lineate judges in making decisions. “In the 1930’s executions reached an all time high executing almost 2000 prisoners a year.
” By this time in American culture there was a new ‘more humane’ type of execution known as the electric chair. For almost a decade people thought this was the best form of execution until jail wardens let the public into the watching rooms to view what was going on. This lead to the first time in history the government as a hole was being forced to make a decision. The decision made was against everything the movement was fighting for. In 1955, the house of representatives voted 297 – 132 to limit inmate appeals for the death penalty to one year in state cases because of the high crime rate bogging down judges. ” This law meant that after one year of appealing for your life against the sentencing you had been given, you were out of hope to change the verdict you had been given. Throughout the years the movement pushes on trying to get laws passed to stop the death penalty.
“Governor George Ryan granted clemency to all 167 death row inmates calling the Illinois system arbitrary, capricious, and therefore immoral.Just before he left office in January 2003. ” This is a good thing for the movement because it opened the eyes of many more people around the world to their views on the death sentence. There are not many important figures for capital punishment because it has just been a way of punishment for centuries, but since the past 100 years there have been many people standing out fighting to stop it. “Angel Nieves Diaz craned his neck to see the clock as a blend of lethal chemicals dripped into the intravenous tube snacking into his left arm. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In this particular case the public found out for the first time that prison guards as young as 18 years old are the ones performing the lethal injection process and that a coroner is called in after the fact at an execution.
The lethal injection process is supposed to last fifteen minutes tops, and the average time until death is just five minutes. The problem with the lethal injection process is that prison guards mix the chemical toxins to inject into the prisoners. In most current cases many guards are careless and do not measure how much of each chemical they are adding to the mix.This carelessness leads to people being killed by pure torture. Angel Diaz’s executioner was a first timer who was not even told that he needed to put the needle into the veins of the prisoner so the needles were just inserted into his arms. “An autopsy after the December 13th execution revealed two foot long chemical burns on his arm because the toxins from an improperly inserted needle flowed into his flesh instead of his veins. ” This resulted in it takes 35 minutes to die, and the result of death was suffocation.
This incident sparked a huge movement in the U. S. , which resulted of a law that requires prison executioners to have a medical background. “Today in the United States, Inmates executed under the sentence of death on average have spent 12 years and 3 months, before their sentences had been carried out. ” This length of time ensures everybody in the justice system that criminal on death row is truly guilty of his crime; this is all thanks to the movements that have been pushing the abolition of the death penalty.I think that this is not actually a good place to stand because I would not want to be executed for a crime I did not do, nor would I want to sentence an innocent person to death. “Men make up about 98% of all prisoners under the sentence of death.
Whites account for 56%, blacks 42% and other races account for just 2 %. ” There is ten times as many white people in this country than there is any other race, and yet the ratios of white people in jail is fewer than any of the other races. “In 2005 yearend, 36 states that have the death penalty held just 3254 prisoners under the sentence of death. “In 2005, 59 men and 1 women were executed by lethal injection. ” “There are many methods of execution in the modern era which include: hanging, stoning, beheading, firing squad, electrocution, gas chamber, and the most recent is lethal injection. ”I think that all of these methods sound cruel except the gas chamber because the carbon dioxide that is put into the chamber first makes you pass out as if you were falling asleep, and then the harmful chemicals that are release kills you after 30 minutes of you being out. In my opinion this is the option that I would take.
The U. S. Supreme court has upheld the death penalty for the most serious and heinous crimes provided that its use is in the accordance with the procedural guarantees of the U. S. Constitution and the relevant state constitutions. ” This law from the government makes it so no judge is able to sentence a man to death for committing a minor crime. He must go to federal court after being convicted of his crime to get the death penalty.
This is more or less just protection of the criminal double-checking if he is truly guilty of innocent. Death sentences have dropped by 50 percent over the past five years and that the numbers on death row inmates have also fallen. ”Despite the media telling people that the world is getting worse in the way of crime, it is a false statement. They may show crimes everyday on T. V. but that’s because it is the only one they can get a hold of. The United States actually has the lowest number of crimes that it has ever had in the last 200 years.
“In 2003 there were almost 3000 prisoners being held on death row. ” That is actually the lowest amount ever recorded considering some have been sitting there for 30 plus years. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley noted that only 56 people have been sentenced to death in his state since 1978, and that taxpayers have spent 22. 4 million beyond the cost of imprisonment on appeal litigation. ”This is just the cost that has been spent by supplying inmates with attorneys to appeal their cases in court after they have been sentenced to death. ““I don’t think the country is about to get rid of the death penalty. ” Observed Richard Dieter, executive director of the death penalty information center.
“But overall, the trend shows some re-thinking and hesitance in performing it. ” Over the past couple decades researchers have found that the general publics opinions are always fluctuating with the world and country conflicts. For example somebody who is against the death penalty now, may be for it during a time of war. Right now the U. S. has the highest vote to keep the death penalty than we have had in 30 years, research tells that it is because of the current war in Iraq, and the fact that the president supports the death penalty. I think the death penalty is here to stay, at least for the next century or two.
The last decade has brought many thoughts into peoples minds about how execution needs to be painless, to make executing worthwhile at all. “Some doctors and lawyers say that there is a ‘significant risk’ that an inmate can suffer minutes of excruciating, burning pain while paralyzed and unable to communicate his agony. This violates the constitution protection against cruel and unusual punishment. ” I don’t think I would be to concerned how much pain a serial killer is in when I am putting him down but a painless death is possible by using professionals. A humane and painless death, if the chemicals are injected in the right order. Derswite said in a recent telephone interview. ” Currently people that act like juveniles and some mentally ill people are on death row, which is wrong because most of them cannot help the outcome of their behavior.
“If certain mentally ill defendants think and act like juveniles or the mentally retarded, then they should be excluded from death row. ”This is true because “the vast majority of people on death row suffer from a mental disorder of some kind. The government then stepped in and said, “If you define it that way nobody would ever be given the death penalty. It creates a standard that would effectively exempt anyone. ” Many countries have come the conclusion to abolish the death sentence after researchers proved it inhumane. “According the Amnesty’s International’s briefing for the European union and India summit on September 7, 2005, 120 countries have abolished the death penalty in low practice for all crimes and 76 countries still perform it naturally. The good thing about making the death penalty a low priority is that you do not have to worry about being stoned for stealing bread at the local market.
In Iraq, before the Iraq war in 2000 Sadam Hussein would have you killed if you were caught stealing, by having you stoned to death in public view. This luckily is not how modern countries act. “Many states have put into effect the justice for all act. Which provides 25 million dollars over five years to help states pay for post conviction testing of DNA. ” This is an example of the modern worlds view on solving crime.People that have been setting on death row over 20 years that were not lucky enough to have been convicted of their crime during the DNA era are getting to re-try their case in court with DNA evidence proving if they were really guilty or not. The death penalty is written in our constitution many times over, this means it will always be a part of the people in the United States.
The only way to change or stop criminals from being sentenced to death would be to either only hire very caring judges or spend years changing around the constitution of the Untied States.Overall I can tell the capital punishment has no real effect on the culture we live in. Before people commit an act they look into the possible outcomes of their proposed act unless they are in some way mentally handicapped. In this case the pre decided people already deserve the death penalty for their acts. I have a 100 percent support behind the death penalty, because if I was the one murders I would want to make sure my murderer is going down with me.
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