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The Marshal Hypothesis - Essay Example

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Instruction Marshal Hypothesis The Marshal Hypothesis is based on the belief that people support the death penalty only because they lack sufficient knowledge abut it. If the people had necessary knowledge and information about the death penalty, they would not support it…
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The Marshal Hypothesis
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The Marshal Hypothesis

Download file to see previous pages... He was of the opinion that if the electorate was fully informed, they would reject the death penalty. I believe that this hypothesis is true, as many people who are in support of the death penalty are unaware of the facts behind it. One of the major reasons against the death penalty that would make the public reconsider their support for it is the discriminatory way in which it is applied. There has been evidence to show that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed on ‘poor, powerless African Americans.’ The fact that the juries were given the discretion to impose the death sentence means that there is a high likelihood of discrimination. Most people are unaware of the discriminatory nature of the application of the death penalty. If people were aware of this fact, fewer would support the harsh sentence (Walker 348). In most cases, it has been found that a majority of people change their opinions about the death penalty upon finding out the discriminatory way in which it is applied. The decisions of juries in capital cases can also be seen as evidence to support the Marshal hypothesis. The inconsistency with which the juries apply the death penalty can be interpreted to mean that the social values fundamentally reject the death penalty. ...
The sentiment against the death penalty should therefore be considered in rendering the punishment invalid (Furman v. Georgia, 1972, p. 332). Various studies have also been conducted to test the Marshal Hypothesis. Most of the studies come up with the same results; that people with an informed opinion do not support capital punishment, and exposure to information on capital punishment reduces its support in those who were previously in its support. For most people, the most important goal of punishment is retribution, or ensuring that people are made to pay for their crimes. This is why in cases of crimes such as murder; some people will support the death penalty as they believe that is the only way that murderers can pay for their crimes. The support of the death penalty has been seen to be based on myths that surround the debate. One such myth is that the death penalty is more effective than a life imprisonment sentence. Another myth is that it leads to the lowering of the murder rate if the death penalty is publicized. The facts about the death penalty are however that poor people who commit murder have a higher chance of being sentenced to death than rich people who commit the same crime. Black people are also more likely to receive the death penalty than the white offenders who have committed the same crime. If a white victim is murdered, the offender is more likely to receive a death penalty than would be the case if a black victim was murdered. This information has an impact on the people’s perception and acceptance of the death penalty (Walker 356). People who believe the myths about the death penalty change their opinion about it upon exposure to the truths about it. The Marshal Hypothesis says that people ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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