Capital Punishment research




Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment refers to the sentence or decision to
a capital crime such as murder, rape, or assault. Many times,
the sentence is life in prison or execution. Currently, the
United States is the only western democracy that still has
execution on the books. An alternative to execution is life
imprisonment, which is common throughout the world. There are
many features, however of life imprisonment that are debated.
Treatment of offenders of capital crimes is questionable in
certain prisons. Also, the safety of society is a question at
hand when discussing life imprisonment assuming the prisoner
could be up for parole or escape. Lastly, the rehabilitation
process of offenders of capital punishment is a big question
mark. Many wonder what success it brings, just how effective it
really is, and what its purpose is for criminals who\'ve
committed such horrible crimes as homicide, or other capital
crimes.
The Article "The Wrong Man" by Alan Berlow points out
some of the wrongs about the death penalty. There are numerous
stories of men who spent their life on death row, only to be
released days or hours before their death because of being
proved innocent. In his article Alan talks about "the growing
number of innocent prisoner being discovered on death row" and
how the government needs to "wake up"(Berlow 7). This means
that more and more cases are being rushed to execution without
all of the facts. Remember, in order to give a sentence, the
client must be guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and it seems
that this is sometimes ignored as unclear cases are being
pushed by officers and lawyers to executions. Another point
brought up by Berlow is how good of a lawyer defendants have in
these capital cases. "Most public defendants are so poorly paid
that talented lawyers tend to stay away from this sort of
practice (Berlow 9)." This means that defendants that are poor,
which most are, cannot afford to get a lawyer that will look
into the case as much as he can, and try to help the defendant
as much as possible. Because of the economic status of most
people tried for murder, a lot of cases end up being like this,
where the public lawyer is paid poorly and doesn\'t give much
effort towards the case at all.
Berlow also talks about how the death penalty may be
taken away. He says "if it could be proved that an innocent
person has been executed (Berlow 14)", the public support would
drastically decline. Now, Berlow says "70-76% support the death
penalty depending on the poll (Berlow 13)." This is a major
increase from the earlier part of the century, and as
executions become more and more common, public opinion and
media attention go down. Berlow says how maybe if someone that
was innocent beyond doubt was executed like in England, the
same result of England would be likely to happen: a banning of
the death penalty. To conclude the article Alan Berlow gives a
few revisions of the system he think would help errors in the
system, starting with how defendants are investigated to how
the trail goes and how the evidence is conducted. The death
penalty can be good, if used correctly. This form of capital
punishment is not a bad thing, as long as there is justice and
fairness in the case. However, if it continues to be sketchy,
it may soon become clear that an innocent man has died for
another\'s crime, and the future of the death penalty may be up
in the air.
Besides the death penalty, capital punishment can also
refer to life imprisonment and the various aspects of it. This
includes the treatment of prisoners, and the respect they are
given by their officers. Another aspect of life imprisonment is
the idea of maximum security. The public does not want
criminals convicted of a capital crime back on the streets
because of an escape or something like that. Another factor of
life in prison is the rehabilitation process offered by most
all prisons. Many, wonder, though, just how effective the
educating and reformation of prisoners really is, and if it is
neccessary at all.
Treatment of criminals of capital crimes is a debatable
topic. Some feel that they should be treated bad to get revenge
at them, others say that they need to be treated like equals.
Chapter 2 of the textbook gives the Christian point of view
when it says, "The Catholic Church has a long tradition of
respecting the dignity of those in prison (textbook 35)." This
quote shows how Christians feel, following the will of Jesus
who once told of how what we do to those