I. What is the death penalty?
a. Capital Punishment
b. Fifth Amendment
a. Babylonia B.C.
b. First execution in the colonies
c. First woman to be executed
a. Eye for an eye
c. Getting rid of evil
d. Deter crime
b. Risk of executing the innocent
a. By year
b. By state
VI. Alternatives to the Death Penalty
a. Life Sentence
VII. Death Penalty here to stay
Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly?
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the execution of an individual convicted and sentenced to death for committing a heinous crime. The Fifth Amendment states that, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” So, based on the information contained in the Fifth Amendment, as long as a person is given due process of law, the death penalty is supposed to be fair. However, there are still ongoing arguments for and against the death penalty.
The death penalty has been around for a long time. It dates back as far as the Eighteenth Century, B.C. The death penalty has been around for a long time. It dates back as far as the Eighteenth Century, B.C. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement (Death Penalty Information Center). When European settlers came to what is now the United States, they brought along their practice of capital punishment. The first known execution was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608 (Findlaw, 2012). In 1945, Lena Baker became the only woman to die in Georgia's electric chair after she was convicted by an all-white jury of killing a white mill operator in southwest Georgia (Poole. S. M. (Jan 8, 2011).
In searching for information on the death penalty, I found that there are a lot of pros and cons for the death penalty. A lot of people believe in the eye for an eye theory. Some people argue that the Bible advocates capital punishment. Genesis 9:6 reads: “Whoever sheds man’s blood; by man his blood shall be shed.” Other people feel that the death penalty will bring closure to the victims’ family. Do they think about the person who was executed family?
Those favoring capital punishment contend that society should support those practices that will bring about the greatest balance of good over evil, and capital punishment is one such practice. Capital punishment benefits society because it may deter violent crime (Andre, C. and Velasquez, M.). Statistically, the death penalty is not working since violent crimes appears to be at an all-time high. Every time you turn on the news on the television, you hear of some sort of violent crimes involving the death of an innocent person. It is even worse when the persons murdered are innocent children or the elderly.
Those opposing the death penalty argue that it is discriminatory. According to Amnesty International, “The death penalty, both in the U.S. and around the world, is discriminatory and is used disproportionately against the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities”. Unfortunately, there are known cases in which race played a huge factor in the death sentence. Because racism still exist in America, it is hard to ensure that every sentence is a just sentence. Taken from Death Penalty Information Center: It