Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Capital Punishment Essay: Capital Punishment Targets the Poor

Capital Punishment Targets the Poor In some states, inmates can be executed for crimes they committed at the age of 16; in others, only those who committed murder at age 18 or older are eligible for the death penalty. This essay will demonstrate that such inconsistencies and many other factors cause a situation where the poor are consistently targeted by the death penalty.    Some states, but not all, ban the execution of people with mental retardation. Some states include felony murder (unpremeditated murder committed in the course of another crime such as robbery or burglary) as a capital crime; others do not. In the 29 states that have a sentence of life without parole, 23 have statutes that bar judges from letting jurors know they have that sentencing option. Since studies consistently show that when given a choice between a death sentence and a sentence of life without parole, most people will choose the latter, failure to inform a jury of this alternative is tantamount to sending more people to the execution chamber.    Social science research has discredited the claim that execution deters murder. The majority of murders are committed in the heat of passion, and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when there is little thought given to the possible consequences of the act. "Hit men" and other murderers who plan their crimes beforehand, intend and expect to avoid punishment altogether by not getting caught.    Law enforcement officials know that the death penalty is not a deterrent. Imposing the death penalty more often was thought to be cost-effective by only 29% of 386 randomly selected U.S. police chiefs polled by Peter D. Hart Research Associates in 1995. States that have death p... ...ily as an alternative to the death penalty(Death).    In 45 states, laws allow life sentences for murder that severely limit or eliminate the possibility of parole. Thirteen states impose sentences without the possibility of parole for 25 - 40 years, and all but three of the states that use capital punishment also have the option of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. Although it is often assumed that capital punishment is less costly than life imprisonment, the opposite is true: in terms of dollars, in terms of crime control, and in terms of morality.    Is there any other way to go than to oppose capital punishment? No.    WORKS CITED: Death Penalty Information Center  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/ Stanford Law Review  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   http://support.lexis-nexis.com/online/record.asp?ArticleID=LXE_Law_Rev_S   

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