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Doubts about the Death Penalty

First of all, in the scope of this research paper it is important to rely on the fact that in the US the capital punishment is limited by the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution in the set of the following cases: crimes against the state, homicide; and in cases of crimes against humanity, which are committed by mentally-competent adults. While referring to the practice, the person is sentenced to the capital punishment only in case, when the aggravating circumstances take place. For instance: felony murder, aggravated murder or contract killing (Bakken, 2010).

It is important to put an emphasis on the fact that before the Independence has been declared in the US (by theDeclaration of Independence of 1776), the Capital punishment has been the penalty at the common law for the wide set of the felonies and it has been enforced to the majority of the American colonies. At the moment, the capital punishment is a legal sentence in 37 states, both in the military system and in the federal civilians (Evans, 2011).

In scope of this paper the core attention would be paid to the fact that there is no direct interrelation between the death penalty practical application and the rate of the murders reduction in the US. Moreover, the set of the counter arguments to death penalty will be analyzed and evaluated.

While referring to the opinions concerning the death penalty practical application in the US it is important to outline the following information. The first counter argument is that the death penalty cannot be applied, when the person is innocent. At the same time, it is important to put an emphasis on the specifics of the punishment – its irreversibility; the innocence cannot be corrected in such case. After the capital punishment has been restated, the total quantity of people, who have been released from the death penalty, has reached 139. Since 1970, the total quantity of death row exonerations in US was 140. Nearly 62% of the sentenced people are non-white (belong to the minority groups). In the timeframes of 2000-2007 the average annual number of exonerationsis 5 people. In 17 of the 140 cases, the DNA testing has been applied for the innocence proving.  Finally, the most common reasons of wrong convictions are the following: government misconduct, eyewitness error, snitch testimony, junk science and finally, the false confessions.

Secondly, some people consider that it is less expensive to execute the capital punishment rather than support the life-long imprisonment. According to the information presented by the government, it is less expensive to keep the person in prison for life than to execute the death sentence.

There is a public opinion that that suffering for victims' families won’t be prorogated by the death penalty. In many cases, the members of the victims’ family do not feel that the death penalty would end their pain. That is why the durable legal process before the execution may prolong the negative feelings for the victim’s family.

Those people, who consider that the death penalty should be applied as the form of punishment in the US, do not rely on the international considerations, concerning the capital punishment in the US.  As it has been stated in the beginning of the research paper, the lion share of the South America and North America (totally - 139 countries worldwide) have banned the capital punishment both judicially and practically.

It is possible to assume that one of the key factors, which makes its impact on the final decision, whether one would be sentenced to the capital punishment or not, is the way, manner and quality of the facts representation.

According to the set of the scientific investigations, it is possible to sate a fact that the executions do not deter people from commitment the crimes in more significant way than in the case of long prison sentences. While taking into account the fact that the execution of the death penalties is carried out by the police officers; the officers often become the victims of murders themselves. In accordance to the statistical data, obtained from the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, those regions where the death penalty execution is carried out rare are the safest for the police officers and those regions, where such executions take their place regularly, are the most dangerous for the police officers. That is why it is possible to state a fact about the direct interrelation between the death penalty execution rate and the rate of the police officers murdering (Dow, 2002). While referring to the research about the interrelation of the death penalty existing in the country and its deterrent effect towards the homicide commitment, more than 80 percent of respondents consider that there is no such interrelation. The core argument is this case is that increasing the quantity of executions or decreasing the timeframe, the prisoners spend on the death row, does not make the general deterrent to homicide (Radelet et al., 1995).

There are the cases when the legal counsel quality, politics and jurisdiction, where the crime has been committed are considered to be more valuable determining factors for the death penalty sentencing to the person rather that the crime itself and its investigation. Even while taking into account the fact that religious scripture isolated passages are often quoted for the death penalty support argumentation, the lion share of the US religious groups consider the death penalty executions as the immoral actions. There are the following religious bodies, which are against the death penalty: Christian Organizations, Buddhist Organizations, Jewish Organizations, Interfaith Organizations and Catholic Organizations. The above listed religious organizations are working against the death penalty while applying the core perspectives of faith and morality. There is a movement, directed to declaring a moratorium on the executions (Dieter, 2007).

Finally, some people consider that there are no racial disparities in relation to the death penalty. Race may be defined as classification of the individuals due to their appearance. These factors are mainly grounded on the geographic ancestry or on the heritable phonotypical characteristics.

There is such trend that the race of the defendant and the race of the victim are the determining factors in the sentencing to death in the US. According to the report from the General Accounting Office (1990) "in 82 percent of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e. those who murdered whites were more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks" (Death penalty information center, 2012).

The last issue to be discussed in scope of this research paper is the alternatives to the death penalty in the US. In every state, where the death penalty is still not banned, there is an option for the jurors to sentence the convicted capital murderers to the life imprisonment without a parole possibility. The core advantage of sentencing to the life imprisonment is the possibility of mistakes correction in case of the incorrect verdict (Musgrave, 2009).

In addition, it is important to emphasize that there is no need in the death penalty for the prison murders prevention.  The set of studies have proven the fact that those prisoners, who are sentenced to death do not have intension to kill other prisoners or the personnel of prison.

To conclude, it is important to put an emphasis on the fact that there are different names for the death sentence: execution, capital punishment and death sentence.It is obvious that there are both supporters and oppositionists of the capital punishment in the US from certain sectors of the population.  Generally, it is possible to consider the capital punishment as the legal process, which is implied by putting a person to death by the state as a form of the punishment for a particular crime. The set of crimes, which may lead to the death penalty are called the capital offences or the capital crimes

There is a set of methods, which have been applied for the death penalty execution through the history of the US. At the moment, only five methods are applied into the practice. The most popular is the lethal injection. The information, outlined in the research paper is directed to the opposition of the death penalty for the US. The core augments have been outlined in order to prove the hypothesis and to support the opinion of the author that the US should abolish the death penalty as the measure of punishment for felonies. The research paper was dedicated to the presentation of the set of arguments against the death penalty in the US, and making it untenable.

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