The Death Penalty: Is it Right? In 1972, the Supreme Court was evaluating a criminal case, Furman v. Georgia. In this case the defendant, William Henry Furman, was burglarizing a house when he was discovered by someone. In attempt to flee, he tripped and accidently set off the gun, killing the person that discovered him. He was sentenced to death by the state of Georgia (Oyez). However, the case was taken to the Supreme Court and it posed a serious question. Is the death penalty unconstitutional? Due to the cruelty, the racial bias, and a better alternative the death penalty should be banned in the United States. The death penalty is cruel and unconstitutional. In 1990, a death row inmate was scheduled to be executed by the electric chair. …show more content…
For example, a black defendant is four times more likely to be sentenced to death than a white defendant when a similar crime is committed. Additionally, a victim’s race is a key factor in determining whether or not the defendant gets the death penalty (Time). Why does the race of a defendant or victim matter in determining whether a life is taken? Does having darker skin really make you less of a person? The racial bias and discrimination in the United States is unbelievable. In ninety-six percent of states where they have reviewed cases of race and the death penalty there had been a pattern of race-of-victim or race-of-defendant discrimination, or even both (DPIC). The race of a defendant or a victim should not influence people in whether or not someone should die. Even if they have done terrible things, a life is still a …show more content…
People argue that the death penalty is a good way to protect our population from these criminals that have done terrible things. While that may be true, life without parole still protects the population from these criminals as they will be in prison for the rest of their lives. Also, the price of a death penalty case is significantly higher than that of a life without parole case. A life without parole case typically averages at about $740,000 while a death penalty case averages at about $1.26 million. The death penalty also puts innocent lives at risk. Every one in twenty-five people on death row are actually innocent. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 143 people have been exonerated. Sadly this is less than half the number of the people who may have actually been innocent. The death row inmate stated earlier, Jesse Tafero, who had a botched execution was later found to have been innocent (Time). An innocent man experienced an extremely painful death orchestrated by the government. Additionally, many people believe that the death penalty will stop future criminals from doing terrible crimes. However, the South has the highest execution rate in the US and they also have the highest homicide rate while the Northeast has the lowest execution rate and the lowest homicide rate (DPIC). The death penalty will not stop criminals from doing terrible
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Gregg v. Georgia Ware, 1 Gregg v. Georgia: Death Penalty Cheyenne Ware Liberty High School 3AB ? Gregg v. Georgia, decided July 2, 1976, was a case that has influenced a lot of cases after it. This is due to the fact it defined it the constitutionality of the death penalty and how extreme of an offence one must commit in order to receive the death penalty, as well as overturning the decision of Furman v. Georgia (Chicago-Kent College of Law, 2015 A) (Cornell University, 2015). In Furman v. Georgia, Furman was in the process of robbing is home when a resident of the home noticed him.
Some criminals deserve to die because they should not have the privilege to live 30 years after, from being sentenced to death for committing first degree murder. For example, there has been a case, in 1984, where Kermit Alexander’s family was murdered. As a matter of fact, the criminals have not been executed since they have received the death sentence.
Henry Furman murdered someone while robbing their home and was sentenced to death. He appealed his punishment and this court case went all the way to the supreme court. He won the case in the supreme court now there are regulations for death sentences. Although he won his case, I strongly agree with Georgia and that punishment for murder should be a death sentence. There are many reasons I believe so.
Although most murder trials are complex, Furman’s trial lasted just one day. Initially, the Court rushed Furman to the Georgia Central State Hospital and concluded that he was mentally ill. The court rejected his insanity plea and sentenced him to death. Furman argued that the random, racial bias was unconstitutional. In a 5-4 decision, the United
Gregg v. Georgia 1976 Constitutional Question: Is the death penalty constitutional, or is it a violation of his 8th and 14th amendment rights? Background Information: In 1976, a man named Gregg was tried and and found guilty for the murder of two people. After his trail he was sentenced to death.
The issue in this case is whether the imposition of the sentence of death for the crime of murder under the law of Georgia violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Gregg argued that the sentencing procedure allows for arbitrary grants of mercy that reflects a misinterpretation and ignores the reviewing authority of the Georgia Supreme Court to determine whether each death sentence is proportional to other sentencing for similar crimes. Gregg was pleading for a life sentence instead of death. Georgia argued that the statute did not constitute a cruel and unusual punishment and did not violate the Eighth and Fourteenth amendments. Georgia also argued and proved that there must be specific jury findings as to the circumstances of the crime to determine whether the death sentence was fair for the case.
The Court has to come face to face with the claim that the administration of death, regardless of the offense, is a cruel and unusual punishment, is morally unethical for the government to be conducting, and is a violation of the Constitution. Aside from the fact that death is not only a severe punishment because of the amount of pain and its irreversible finality, the
In “The Color of Justice,” Alexander addresses the intersection of race with the justice system. She details a study comparing the treatment of Black and White victims in homicide cases, where “defendants charged with killing white victims received the death penalty eleven times more often than defendants charged with killing black victims. Georgia prosecutors seemed largely to blame for the disparity; they sought the death penalty 70 percent of cases involving black defendants and white victim, but only 19 percent of cases involving white defendants and black victims” (Alexander 110). These studies indicate the vast disparity between the treatment of White victims and Black victims. This implies a harsher treatment against Black victims, because these cases were sought by the Georgia prosecution.
This report is helpful because it highlights how race is influenced on the death penalty. It will help me see if the death penalty is racially neutral. Coker, D. (2003). Addressing the real world of racial injustice in the criminal justice system. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
Troy Gregg was convicted of robbery and mass murder, and jurors sentenced to him to death. He fought this sentencing, just like in the Furman case the defense attorney said that they had violated his eighth and fourteenth amendment. The Supreme court in a seven to two decision found that there was no violate unlike in the Furman case. They argued that “when a defendant has been convicted of deliberately killing another, the careful judicious use of the death penalty maybe be appropriate if used carefully” (Oyez 2017 Gregg v. Georgia). Georgia still to this day uses the death penalty and as of January 2017 fifty-seven men are waiting to be
Source A argues that disparities between blacks and whites have been appalling in court. According to Source A, “If a black person kills a white person, they are twice as likely to receive the death sentence as white person who kills a black person” (2). This reveals that a black person has a higher rate of receiving the death sentence when tried for murdering a white person. If a white person is tried for a killing of a black person they have a 50% chance of getting the death sentence, then that means that a black person would receive a 100% chance of getting the death sentence for killing a white person.
“The law may be color-blind as it is written, but not as it is enforced.” Racial bias in the death penalty can be traced back to Furman v. Georgia, where handing down the death penalty sentence, unfairly, constituted as a cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The reinstatement of the death penalty with its new sentencing guidelines, implemented by the Supreme Court, was to ensure that the death penalty sentence was used in a constitutional way. Despite these guidelines, somehow, racial bias has found a way to thrive. It has been documented that an individual is more likely to receive the death penalty in a case where the victim is White than in cases where the victim is Black.
Another issue that was discussed is the inequality of death penalty in practice. There have been serious issues with racial discrimination. For reference in cases with white victims and black defendants convictions occurred twenty two percent of the time while with black victims and white defendants with percentage dropped to a measly three
Studies conducted by the people behind the death penalty information center, have shown that African Americans were over 80 percent of the people condemned by the death penalty in Pennsylvania. In the united states 82% of the studies the race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty. Those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks (deathpenaltyinfo). 5. Counterclaim
In the article, “The Death Penalty: An Opinion Essay,” written by Hamilton Spectator, states that is the first issue that he mentions is that the justice system is never 100% right all the time. While other situations can be changed by a judge a death penalty is unchangeable. Various times of similar crimes are conferred and diverse sentences are given out. As well as depending on the criminals race the consequences valid on the judge 's opinion.