Nobody downloaded yet

Evolution of Death Penalty in America - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
The major weaknesses of this study are concentrated on the evaluation of death penalty in America. The researcher states that while evaluating American death penalty history, Britain’s influence on America is more evident than any other factors…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER96% of users find it useful
Evolution of Death Penalty in America
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Evolution of Death Penalty in America"

Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates that in American death penalty history, the first execution was recorded in 1608, and the victim was Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 3,859 persons were executed under civil jurisdiction in the United States from 1930 to 1967. During this period, nearly 54% black and 45% white were executed whereas the remaining one percent was members of other racial groups including American Indians, Chinese, and Japanese. In this period, the number of executions in the state of Georgia represented more than nine percent of the national total. As Melissa points out, the number of executions in other US cities including Texas, California, and New York were 297, 292, and 329 respectively between 1930 and 1967. In addition, the US Army executed 160 persons during the same period. In the 1960s, the fundamental legality of the death penalty was widely questioned throughout the United States. Much legal personnel suggested that the capital punishment was “cruel and unusual” and hence it was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment.  In the late 1960s, the Supreme Court restructured the way the capital punishment was administered. In 1971, the Court held that dealing with capital sentencing discretion was “beyond present human ability”; and later on the legality of the death penalty was again discussed before the Supreme Court in 1972 in landmark case Furman v. Georgia. (408 U.S. 238) (DPIC). The Court stated that since the jury had the power of complete sentencing discretion, it might result in arbitrary sentencing. On 29th June 1972, the Court held that existing death penalty statues were no longer valid and therefore, the Court voided 40 death penalty statutes, and suspended the death penalty practice in the US.
The overall holding in Furman reflected that particular capital sentencing statues were only unconstitutional and it influenced the Court to rethink about the legal validity of death penalty. As a result, the Court allowed states to rewrite their death penalty statutes to abolish the issues cited in Furman. Although some stats eliminated all unguided jury discretion by mandating death penalty for those convicted capital crimes, the Supreme Court held that this practice was unconstitutional. Some other states provided sentencing guidelines for the judge, and this practice allowed the “introduction of aggravating and migrating factors in determining sentencing” (DPIC). The Supreme Court approved these guided discretion statues in 1976. The ten-year moratorium on death penalty was ended on 17th January 1977 with the execution of Gary Gilmore. Finally, the state of New York also enacted death penalty law in 1995.
In response to the increasing objections against capital punishment, the US Supreme Court has framed some strict regulations on death penalty. As Johnson (2001) points out, one of the recent developments in the state of Texas is that it passed a bill of banning the execution of mentally retarded persons. The recent death penalty cases add to the earliest Supreme Court cases addressing capital punishment. While analyzing US death penalty data, it is evident that the highest number of executions was occurred between the period 1999 and 2005. However, the recent data show that the number of executions have significantly declined during the last five years. In 2009, only 37 persons were executed and this figure represents the least number for the last decade (DPIC 2). The current Court practices show that it rarely sentences death penalty. The recent cases including Penry v. Johnson, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, Atkins v. Virginia, and Roper, Superintendent, Potosi Correctional Center v. Simmons are some of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Evolution of Death Penalty in America Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved de https://studentshare.org/law/1391376-evaluation-of-death-penalty-in-america
(Evolution of Death Penalty in America Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
https://studentshare.org/law/1391376-evaluation-of-death-penalty-in-america.
“Evolution of Death Penalty in America Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/law/1391376-evaluation-of-death-penalty-in-america.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Evolution of Death Penalty in America

Death Penalty

... Death Penalty Death penalty has been a controversial issue in the international community. Many nations have been disturbed and argued about the best way it can be handled. This has made generation of questions on how best the capital offenders can be punished in order to have justice for both the offenders and victims of the circumstances. The bill of rights supports the right of individuals to live and associate freely. On the other hand, the same legal provision is also used to condemn capital offenders to death sentence. The religious community questions the legality of the death sentences and at the same time urges citizens to follow the law. It is still ironical when they defend the law breakers. Many countries stress... to maintain a...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Death penalty

..., and jurisdiction of the courts determine the outcome of court process and therefore may result to unjustified death penalty. This argument is however behind proving because in the recent times, political leaders like Saddam Hussein have faced death penalties and the degree of racial discrimination is very low. The America Civil Liberties Union denotes that the penalty violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment in the U.S. It argues that the death penalty does not guarantee the due process of law, is not a viable way of controlling crime, and that innocent people meet the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death penalty

...Jane Doe Introduction Death penalty is when a government takes the life of an individual as punishment for wrong doing.This form of punishment is the most extreme punishment that a government can use on its citizens. It has been used at different times in many societies in all parts of the world, though mainly as a last resort in a small number of cases. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly all countries practiced some form of capital punishment, but it is no longer used in most countries (Stearman, 2007). The benefits and drawbacks of the death penalty are debated widely. Can it ever be justified? And if it can, under what circumstances should it be used? Does...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death Penalty

...in the United States by the country’s colonial masters, the English. According to Stuart Banner, the first American State to ban the death penalty was Michigan in 1846 (Hood 2). In America, the penalty was first opposed by Ben Franklin when writing the Bill of Rights in the Eighth Amendment. Michigan was the first American state to repeal the penalty in 1846, and by 1917 the norm was adopted by ten states. The 1960s witnessed almost complete extinction of the death penalty – only one execution was performed in 1966. However, the penalty’s near extinction was retracted in 1976 in the case of Gregg vs....
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death penalty

...number Why should the Death Penalty be abolished The Death penalty is one of the most controversial forms of punishment. Its roots in the context of corporal punishment has been criticized for its harshness and inhumanity; but it has also been lauded for its apparent effectiveness in deterring crime and brandishing corresponding punishment for severe and heinous crimes. On one side of the issue, the death penalty is based on the concept of an ‘eye for an eye,’ and that one should receive the corresponding punishment for one’s actions. On the other side of this issue, the death penalty is considered an...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

Death Penalty

...? Death Penalty Death Penalty Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, has, in the past, been exercised by many jurisdictions (Gaie, 2012). However, these days, only 58 nations actively exercise it and 97 nations have done away with it. The rest, nearly 50 states, have not utilized the law for a decade. They, however, permit it in exceptional situations for instance during wartimes. It is an issue of active controversy in numerous states and countries, and positions can differ in a single cultural region or political ideology. In the European Union (EU) member countries, the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Death penalty

...The Death Penalty. : Course: Date: The Death Penalty. The death penalty is an emotive issue which arouses passions on ethical, religious, political, economical and social fronts. Both the supporters and opponents of capital punishment have marshaled convincing arguments to support their respective stands. The debate continues, reflecting the social and political climate of the times. Advocates of the death penalty contend that it is the only means of serving justice and deterring further...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Death penalty

...Death Penalty Date: Introduction Death Penalty, also known as to as capital punishment, is the harshest punishment type that entails executing a criminal by judicial process or law enforcement officers. Approved ways through which it is performed include the use of the guillotine, hanging, electrocution, lethal injection, firing squad and gassing (Duhaime.org, N.d). Rape and other sexual crimes, murder, espionage, repeated crimes and treason are some of the examples of crimes that punishable through this form of punishment. The death penalty is also carried out as part of soldierly justice. While some people support the death penalty, others strongly condemn it. Some of the arguments in its favor are discussed below. Retribution... that the...
3 Pages(750 words)Research Paper

Death penalty

...Death Penalty: Is it Right or Wrong? Full Death penalty has always been an issue debated through the years, whether it is rightor wrong. There are different ideas about this argument and despite many discussions there are still a lot of matters that come from generation to generation, making it a never ending argument. The intensity of a crime is one of the vital things taken into consideration for the punishment given to a person and the philosophy of taking a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye is said to be a necessary step to take in implementing punishments. On the other hand, the question arises if such is humane to the educated law makers and so the debate goes...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Discrimination in Applying the Death Penalty

...Discrimination in Applying the Death Penalty Discrimination in Applying the Death Penalty Death penalty also known as capital punishment is a legal process administered to criminals of various crimes, for example, murder. As a legal process, it should be just, though, in this country the penalty of death biased based on an individual’s race and their social class. This means that an individual’s race, in most cases, determines the judgment passed. This is injustice and, therefore, should be condemned. According to research, for every 700 committed murders only one is executed (Free, 2003). This shows that...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Evolution of Death Penalty in America for FREE!

Contact Us