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The Death Penalty

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Rachael Bryan

on 27 September 2014

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Transcript of The Death Penalty

Why should you care?

Conflict of Interest
"God created life and he and only he has the power to take it away."
"He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death"
-Exodus 21:12

Did You Know...
Legal Analysis
8th Amendment
“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
The Death Penalty
To impose a death sentence, the jury must be guided by the particular circumstance of the criminal.
Step 1

A consideration of the offense's gravity and the stringency of the penalty

A consideration of how the jurisdiction punishes its other criminals.

A consideration of how other jurisdictions punish for the same crime.
ex: Ring V Arizona (2002)
Method of Execution

"Objectively intolerable" test

Kennedy V. Louisina

5-4 decision

"The Eighth Amendment bars Louisiana from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim's death."
Majority Opinions

Justice Anthony Kennedy

"The death penalty is not a proportional punishment for the rape of a child."


"Stunted legislative consideration of the question whether the death penalty for the targeted offense of raping a young child is consistent with prevailing standards of decency."
Justice Alito
1. Provides closure for victims family

2. Life in prison without parole is just as expensive as the death penalty.

1.Innocent people may still be put to death.
2.Mentally Ill patients may be put to death.
3.Doesn't bring the victim back.

Since 1973, 140 people have been released from death row due to evidence of their wrongful conviction and 1,200 have been executed.

How did the Supreme Court decide if the Death Penalty fell under the Cruel and Unusual Punishment category?
Question #1
Let's find out...
Proportionality Requirement
Step 2
Principle of Individualized Sentencing
Step 3
Question 2
What Supreme Court Case ultimately banned states from imposing the death penalty for... "the rape of a child where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the child's death?"
In regards to the 8th Amendment...
Pros Continued...
Cons Continued...
DNA testing can effectively eliminate almost all uncertainty in crime scene investigatoin.

It's a crime deterrent

Prisoner parole or chance of escape gives them opportunities to kill again.
1. 70% of Americans believe that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, (Boston Bomber) should be given the death penalty

2.JFA [Justice for All] estimates that Life without parole cases will cost $1.2 million-$3.6 million.

1.Extremely expensive
2.Endless appeals take years
3.Why would we kill people to show that killing is wrong?
1. A single death penalty case in Indiana will cost taxpayers $1 million dollars.
2.In 2010, a death row inmate waited an average of 178 months (or close to 15 years) between sentencing and execution.
3. Retribution is another word for revenge.

1. On the other hand... those 312
people were nearly put to death if it weren't the scientific advancements of DNA testing and the work of expert attorneys, who many death row inmates don't have access too.
2. Since 1983, 60 mentally ill prisoners have been executed.

1. DNA testing has exonerated 312 people from death row since the start of forensic testing.

2. Results of a study showed that "... each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the following year..."

3. 6% of young adults paroled in 1978, after having committed a murder, were arrested for murder again within 6 years.
Also known as Capital Punishment
The United States is one of the very few countries in the world along with Iran, North Korea, China and Ymen that use the Death Penalty.

Puerto Rico, an unincorportated territory of the United States, doesn't use capital punishment.
In 2003, Patrick Kennedy was sentenced to death after being convicted of raping and sodomizing his 8 year old step daughter.

Kennedy plead not guilty, claiming the neighborhood boys were responsible for the heinous act.

(disagree with the majority)
Full transcript