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Offenders Facing the Death Penalty - Term Paper Example

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Offenders facing Death Penalty Introduction The offenders in prison have long been categorized into blacks and whites. They can also be categorized in terms of Hispanic and non-Hispanic. The Hispanic population consists of many races like Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican and others…
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Offenders Facing the Death Penalty
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Download file to see previous pages The population consisting of blacks has been selected for this study. Characteristics and challenges they face in prison Since the time of slavery when the black people were considered as property, the injustice meted out to this category of the population has never lessened. Studies reveal that the blacks are more subject to death penalties than the whites. This bias stems from the fact that a majority of these decisions are made by the white. The blacks are 3.9 times more likely to face death penalty on committing crimes of similar magnitude as done by the whites. (Dieter, 1998) The blacks facing death penalties suffer from mental trauma and helplessness during their stay in the prison. 5 to 10% of those facing death penalty suffer from grave mental illness. Severe mental trauma causes brain damage. This results in impairment of normal physical, behavioral and cognitive functions. These people often face physical and / or sexual abuse in the prison (Mental Illness on Death Row, n.d.) How they adjust to incarceration The prisons in the US- particularly in Texas and California are faced with overcrowding. This has negatively affected the living conditions in prison, prisoner’s safety and proper prison management. ...
The prisoners are hyper vigilant about impending threats and danger. They fail to trust their fellow prisoners because of fear of getting victimized. This tendency is seen more in the Blacks, since they are the potential targets of victimization. A research in this regard reveals that about 40% prisoners avoid high risk areas in prison. Most of these prisoners spend additional time in their unit to avoid getting victimized. Almost 75% of prisoners act tough with others to avoid being exploited. Also, about 25% prisoners keep weapons with them to protect themselves. These behaviors on the part of the prisoners reflect the high degree of distrust among them. (Haney, 2002) Social withdrawal and isolation is another method adopted by the prisoners in order to adjust to incarceration. It involves withdrawal from group activities in the prison. The prisoners do not interact with others in such situation. They adopt evasion tactic to cope with the situation. The state of withdrawal is associated with psychological depression. The attitude, behavior and perception of the Blacks facing death penalty can be studied by categorizing them into six categories. These are as follows: Indifference: This behavior is expressed in a consistent manner during the early days of trial. It is characterized by lack of concern for the things happening around. It is caused due to utter disbelief in the situation. (Radelet, 1990, p. 42) Resignation: After the indifference phase comes resignation. It is caused because of the feeling that waiting for death is more difficult than dying. The offenders facing death penalty seek their execution and do not want to undergo further trial. The case of Rumbaugh in 1982 can be used to clarify ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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