Research Proposal: Capital Punishment Essay
Carlee Taylor English 112 Leland Howard Research Proposal There are many controversial points of view on the death penalty in America’s society. Is the death penalty socially correct? Is it just? The death penalty is an execution sentence that a person convicted of a capital crime must face. A person can only be sentenced to death in 33 states (deathpenatly. org). There have been as of April 1, 2012, 3,170 death row inmates in the Unites States history, with an exception of the two inmates in New Mexico and eleven in Connecticut that remain on the death row due to the law not being made retrospective to these inmates.
The controversy whether the death penalty is just or unjust has been a debate in America for many years. There have been 141 exonerations in 26 different states as of October 1, 2012. Although there are many social and societal views about the death penalty, do people deserve the right to die, do two wrong doings make a right doing.
Furthermore, should criminals who are mentally incompetent be given the death penalty given that they have committed a crime that requires intelligence?
For the states that do have the death row, should those states be more reluctant to give the death row sentence to inmates being that there have been 141 exonerations? The death penalty is a very serious punishment which is why it raises the questions if it is morally right, what the societal view are upon this subject matter, should criminals who are mentally incompetent be given the death penalty, and for those state who support the death penalty sentence be more reluctant to give the death penalty due to the numerous inmates on death row that were found not guilty of capital crime.
The death penalty is important to not only me but also to the criminals who may face the capital punishment because it is such a harsh punishment. After the death penalty, there is no life, you are simply executed. This topic should not be taken lightly and is unjust for those who are not guilty but still face the death penalty. Although the death penalty may seem just for those who have committed horrible crimes, but two wrong doings do not make a right doing or justified good deed. Death Penalty Information Center, displays the different statistics based on nmates facing the death penalty. Not all states have the death penalty sentence but since 1968, there have been 3,170 inmates in the United States that have faced the death penalty. There have been 724 inmates in California alone, being the most in any state that faced the death penalty. Since about 1979 to 2007 the number of inmates that were executed increased greatly from 539 to 3,215. Due to the statistical evidence of inmates that have been charged with the death penalty, this data base is very critical to my research paper.
Knowing the number of inmates sentenced to death row can help me better my understand the crime rates for each state based on the criminals charged with murder because only criminals facing charges of murder can be sentenced to death row based on the eighth amendment. An Impassioned Debate: An overview of the death penalty in America depicts the facts about the eighth amendment. The eighth amendment is the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments (Masci 1). There are two significant cases that have inflamed the debate over the capital punishment, The Baze v. Reese case, and the Kennedy v. Louisiana case.
The first case reveals the strong debate that the execution by lethal injection is inhuman and in violation of the eight amendment. The second case inflamed the debate that allows the imposition of capital punishment for a person convicted of raping a child under the age of 12 (Masci 1). Controversy whether people agree with the capital punishment has varied over the years. A poll taken in 2007 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Pew Research Center for the People of the Press stated, “Today, 62 percent of the public supports the capital punishment of people convicted of murder” (Masci 2).
Masci goes further to say, “As a result of the fur man decision, all death penalty statutes were effectively overturned and death row inmates in 32 states had their sentences commuted to life in prison” (Masci 2). Knowing the history of the death penalty and the role that the Baze v. Reese case has on the eighth amendment is very substantial evidence for my research paper. This article bases my three main points by supporting my argument that execution of a criminal does not justify the crime that was committed by the criminal.
The Theater Rampage Jolts the Nation article by the US new Wall street Journal interprets the horrifying news of a mass shooting in Aurora Colorado at the Century Aurora movie theater. A man named James Holmes planned an attack at the midnight premier of “The Dark Night Rises”. As excited young adults, children, and teens sat down to watch the movie, Mr. Holmes came through the exit door and began shooting. Corbin Dates a 23 year old who attended the movie that night stated, “…when he saw the theater’s emergency door swing open and a man walk inside, he thought it was some kind of movie related stunt.
Even as people screamed, he thought it was part of the show. Then he saw the man throw a gas canister into the crowd and began firing” (US News 1). James Holmes was soon after arrested in the movie theater parking lot. As James Holmes committed a horrible crime in murdering 12 people and wounding 58 others he meets the standards and requirements needed for the sentencing of death row, also being that Colorado is a state with the death penalty sentence. James Holmes pleaded insanity.
This article is important to my research paper because as stated in my second main point, mentally incompetent inmates should not face the death penalty sentence. James Holmes has the choice to choose insanity. Mr. Holmes hid explosives in his apartment as stated by the police (US News 2). A robot that police used to be sent into his apartment found explosive devises as stated in the article, “The presence of what appeared to be tripwires and ammunition prompted the police to wait until Saturday to try to enter the apartment” (US News 2). Mr.
Holmes had the intelligence to barricade and booby trap his home. He also was able to perform the task of ordering ammunition and guns. The question is, should Mr. Holmes be allowed to plead insanity? Committing a capital crime such as murder, and getting away with it, is exactly what Drew Peterson tends on doing in the Hearsay evidence proves crucial in Drew Peterson’s conviction article. Drew Peterson is facing charges against Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, Mr. Peterson’s fourth wife. Stacy Peterson is not the first victim of Drew Peterson. Mr.
Peterson was previously charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio. Stacy went missing shortly after her husband’s conviction of murdering his ex-wife. She was said to have left three children and her family believing that she was not murdered (Basu 1). Having substantial information to support a research paper is very important. This article serves as an importance to my research paper because as my first main point states, the death penalty may not be just in all circumstances. Which raises the question to debate if Drew Peterson deserves to be sentenced the death row sentence.