SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY) - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
There is currently no death penalty in Massachusetts, life without the possibility of parole being the only punishment for first-degree murder. The federal government prosecutes capital cases within Massachusetts, however. On November 7, 2007, House lawmakers again overwhelmingly rejected a bill to reinstate the death penalty by a vote of 46 - 110…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER97.6% of users find it useful
SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY)
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY)"

Download file to see previous pages In total, there have been approximately 345 executions within Massachusetts, including 26 convicted of witchcraft.
Until 1951, murder in the first degree called for a mandatory punishment of death. In 1951, the law was changed to allow the jury the discretion to recommend against a death sentence after considering mitigating circumstances - in which case the sentence would be life imprisonment -unlessthe murder was committed in connection with a rape or attempted rape, in which case the death sentence was mandatory.
In 1968, voters expressed disapproval with this trend in a non-binding referendum, voting 49 to 31 percent in support of continued use of the death penalty. During the 1970's and 80's, a series of judicial rulings eventually eliminated the death penalty altogether under Massachusetts law:
In 1972, the US Supreme Court decision of Furman vs. Georgia, threw out Georgia's death penalty as cruel and unusual, citing the arbitrary and capricious manner in which it was administered, and leading to capital statutes throughout the country being overturned. For Massachusetts, this meant that the discretionary death penalty for murder was nullified, but the mandatory death penalty for rape-murder was left intact for the time being (Cf.Commonwealth v. Harrington, 1975).
On October 28, 1980, the SJC ruled inDistrict Attorney for the Suffolk Dist. v. Watsonthat a new capital statute signed into law by Governor Edward King the previous November (c. 488, Acts of 1979) was unconstitutionally cruel for all the reasons laid out inO'Nealand their opinion of the proposed 1977 bill. On November 2, 1982, voters approved by referendum (54 to 35 percent) an amendment to Article 26. The amendment, Article 116of the Massachusetts Constitution, states that: No provision of the Constitution... shall be construed as prohibiting the imposition of the punishment of death.
This completed the amendment process, which had been initiated in 1980 by legislators acted quickly to draft another new death penalty bill. On December 15, 1982, the House and Senate passed legislation providing for capital punishment for first-degree murder. The bill was signed into law (c. 554, Acts of 1982) a week later by Governor King and went into effect on January 1st.
This 1982 statute was invalidated by the SJC on October 18, 1984 in the case ofCommonwealth v. Colon-Cruz. While the death penaltyper sewas no longer forbidden by the Constitution, this particular statute improperly encouraged defendants in murder cases to plead guilty rather than face a jury trial, thus avoiding the possibility of the death sentence, and violating the right against self-incrimination and the right to trial by jury. Massachusetts has remained without a valid death penalty law ever since. Subsequent attempts to reinstate the death penalty have failed: By the time of theColon-Cruzdecision, Michael Dukakis had become governor again. Throughout these two terms, a nearly evenly divided legislature never passed a bill - which the governor would have certainly vetoed.
In 1991, William Weld became governor. He, and every governor since, argued for death ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY) Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1530078-specific-moral-issues-death-penalty
(SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY) Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 Words)
https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1530078-specific-moral-issues-death-penalty.
“SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY) Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1530078-specific-moral-issues-death-penalty.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY)

The Moral Problem Of The Death Penalty

...The Moral Problem Of The Death Penalty 1. Advocates of the death penalty are completely wrong. There are many people who claim that there are benefits to the death penalty. They suggest (against all of the evidence) that death penalties provide benefits like helping the family get closure, as well as possibly providing disincentive for people to murder. Yet how can anyone claim that any amount of benefit is worth accidentally killing an innocent person? Emmanuel Kant says that the foundation of ethics is that you must treat every person as an end in themselves, and not as a means. ...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

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... opportunity...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Death penalty

...lawful infliction of death as a punishment to a legally convicted person. This paper will discuss in details the death penalty, support death penalty, and specifically relate the punishment to the Islam religion. It will also draw a personal conclusion. Generally, there is a decreasing tread of death penalty punishments in the recent times. American citizens, political leaders, and religious leaders have been victims of this punishment. Indeed, the numbers are significant. According to Amnesty International, most countries did not use the punishment in 2009. About two-thirds of the countries abolished...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death penalty

...so impartially. Given their career investment in this system, judges have been known to entertain this belief (Gerber & Johnson, 2007). Some supporters of the death penalty also take a moralistic approach. To these kinds of people the main justification for the death penalty lies in giving every offender his “due.” In this philosophical position capital punishment finds its support in the notion of moral “desert”, where desert implies a punishment required to be proportionate in kind, severity, or amount of pain matching the original crime. Advocates of this view maintain that the most convincing justification for the death...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Death Penalty

...Module Death Penalty Is the death penalty moral? Does it curb crime? The issue of the death penalty raises many questions and the answer on its effects varies depending on the respondent. The crucial dilemma lies on the legality of the death penalty and its effectiveness in curbing crime. Death penalty is defined as the use of death to punish criminal law offenders. It has been applied as a form of punishment since the colonial era. Recent statistics on the crime rate indicate that the death...
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...
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...
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...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Death Penalty Issues

...Death Penalty Issues The state of Tennessee had been in the practice of executing some of its prisoners throughout much of its history. However, the method of killing had frequently undergone change. For instance, prior to the year 1913, those condemned to death had been hanged by the neck till dead. Between the years 1913 to 1915, the death penalty had been stayed in this state. When it resumed in 1916, the method of killing adopted was death by electrocution[Ten]. From the year 1972 to 1978, prisoners had not been put to death in this state, due to its prohibition by the US Supreme Court. However, the...
17 Pages(4250 words)Essay

Is the death penalty moral

...The issue of the death penalty has elicited debate since the ancient times. People belief in the sanctity of life that human are to live until they die of natural death rather than induced killing and as a result of capital offences. As early as 1293 the Prince of Wales was hanged after he attacked King Edward of England. Since then, there has been the debate of where it is legal or moral to use the death penalty to meet justice of the accused. However, through history there has been declined use of the death penalty in many countries with a few remaining with the practice including the...
10 Pages(2500 words)Research Paper
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 SPECIFIC MORAL ISSUES (DEATH PENALTY) for FREE!

Contact Us