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Test 3

15 Pages

Course Code
SOCL 3371

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Test 3 04/15/2013
What factors affect sentencing
Statistics on Capital Punishment
Made the crime more heinous
Most are on death row for usually 10 years, sometimes more, some may have 3 to 5 appeals. Justice is
better served if a guilty person goes free other than someone who is innocent get punished.
Over 50% of people on death row are white, 47% African American, 2% other race
African Americans are more likely to be involved in capital crimes so they are more likely to be on death
row. Another a and that this shows a biased in our system.
Males represent 98% of people on death row. There are arguments to this too.
Majority of people on death row are not married, have a high school education and have had a prior record.
Most common form is lethal injection. One chemical or 3
Some states still let electrocution, firing squad, gas chamber and hanging.
35 states allow death penalty
Texas has the highest number of executions, 15. Next 3 had 6.
Executions decline
Suicide because you are isolated, a way to control your outcome, not knowing when you will die.
International Statistics
Arguments for the death penalty
Incapacitation, supports,
some people are so dangerous to society that they shouldn’t just have life in prison
Deter people from committing crimes to begin with
Morally correct
Committed a crime so receive a punishment
Proportional to the crime
punishment fits the crime
reflects opinion
people prefer it
unlikely chance of error
only about 30 people have been wrongly executed. Very low percentage
arguments against death penalty
possibility of error
it can still happen
no deterrent
increase in crime, so escalate because they will receive death penalty anyway
weak public support
if asked different ways give support to both sides
unfair use of discretion
up to the judge
racial gender and other biases
very last 1st world countries to still use death penalty
because of the number of appeals
Legal Issues in Capital Punishment
Furman v. GA
Not that the death penalty is unconstitutional, but that the use in which they use it could be unconstitutional.
Supreme court didn’t completely rule out capital punishment, for it to be used there had to be better rules in
place to keep it unbiased.
if a jury for a case, finds at least one aggravating circumstance for a murder, that capital punishment could
be used.
Gregg v. GA
Appealed case and supreme court ruled in favor of GA. It did not violate our constitutional rights to be
sentenced to death if there was at least one aggravating circumstance in a murder case.
Court implied, that it could not be found unconstitutional according to the 8th amendment. Capital
punishment is constitutional.
Ring v. Arizona
The supreme court said it would be a violation of our 6th amendment right to a jury trial if the jury did not get
to decide if someone got the death penalty or not.
As of 2002, people who are mentally ill cannot be put to death.
Due to a case in Louisiana, the Supreme Court ruled that capital punishment should be limited to those
who killed their victim.

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