Scott Peterson Pros And Cons

1964 Words8 Pages

On November 12th, 2004, after months of jury selection and then a trial, Scott Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder of his 8-month pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and second-degree murder of their unborn son, Connor Peterson (Wakeman). This case quickly became national news, but everything national starts out personal. The Peterson's were from Modesto, California, less than 15 miles away from my hometown. The cruel and tragic fate of Laci Peterson's murder had a huge impact on our community and continues to be remembered by all. In March of 2005, Peterson was given the death penalty. A long debated question amongst Americans is whether or not the death penalty is constitutional. I believe that the death penalty is constitutional. …show more content…

The death penalty is most often a charge given for “murder with aggravating circumstances (Pennekamp).” According to the Death Penalty Information Center, each state has its own list of aggravating circumstances that could consider a criminal worthy of the death penalty(“Aggravating”). One such example in California is if "the murder was intentional and carried out for financial gain." On a federal level, the U.S. Code gives some standard mitigating and aggravating factors to be considered (“18 U.S. Code”). Mitigating factors include circumstances such as impaired capacity and no prior criminal record. It is an aggravating factor if “the victim was particularly vulnerable due to old age, youth, or infirmity.” On the subject of the victim in a murder case, the death penalty has a huge impact on the victim's family. Receiving justice for a crime committed against your loved one, especially a 3 crime so tragic and irreversible, is a step towards peace. The three most common reasons for retaining the death penalty are retribution, deterrence, and assuagement. Assuagement of course, refers to easing the pain of the victim's loved ones. Retribution is a society's need to “punish particularly egregious crimes.” Deterrence is the desire to prevent future crimes. By maintaining punishment for horrendous crimes in our …show more content…

The Constitution's opening statement is “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” In 1787, the same year that the Constitution was written, there were 32 executions of criminals by hanging (Blanco). The 1787 executions are a prime example that the founding fathers supported the death penalty. Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away just last year, was a staunch originalist. Scalia once said, “The Constitution. . .means today not what current society (much less the Court) thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted. For me, therefore, the Constitutionality of the death penalty is not a difficult, soul-wrenching question. It was clearly permitted when the Eighth Amendment was adopted (Scalia). . .” Our founding 4 fathers established justice through use of the death penalty, so is it not constitutional for us to continue to do so? Especially when taking into account the state of the crimes committed today. In 1787, death penalties were charged for burglary as well as murder. The death penalty today is not charged for burglary, but for serious crimes that have

Open Document