Literature Review Essay

Submitted By David-Rocky
Words: 668
Pages: 3

David Fernandes

Literature Review


My research would be focused on how people´s opinions about the death penalty are affected by laws. As everybody knows the death penalty has been a very serious topic around the world so I’m interested to get know more about different opinions of it. The target for this study will be different countries in order to see different opinions of different people.
 According to Vito and Keil´s constructivist research (1998), respondents were asked to answer many questions about the death penalty in order to measure their views about it. They discovered that 69% of their sample supported death penalty but that support fluctuated depending on certain characteristics of the offender. If the offender was mentally ill, they declined it, but this does not mean that all the cases around the world are like this.

This study is relevant to my project because it shows that the majority of people that defend the death penalty no longer support it if the person who commits a crime has a mental disorder. 


In addition to the previous argument, Williams, Longmire and Gulick´s 1988 study showed that those who displayed a higher level of public willingness to demand the death penalty when the case involved aggravating aspects related to particular homicides situations, rather than generic crimes. Moreover, this survey supports the work of Harris(1986), whose survey showed that crimes that involve children as victims, terrorism, violent murders ended up with highest level of support for the death penalty among members of the public. According to my project, it is important to note that particular crimes which involves children as victims, the public is more firmly in support of the death penalty.


Focusing on Harris’s constructivist research (1986),which was made in the USA it has been observed that white people usually have higher chance to support the death penalty than black people. With this the research also indicates that the higher chance supported by white people may be the result of prejudices against black people. This argument will be relevant for my project due to race and it shows that people opinion’s differ between races.
 However, there are some reasons why people think that the death penalty should be abolished and one of the main reason is morality.

According to Radelet, Bedau, and Putman, (1992) there are a big number of evidences that many innocent people have been sentenced to death penalty unduly. Moreover, based on Thomsom (1999),which his research was made in

David Fernandes

Nigeria it can be concluded that many abolitionists argue that death penalty leads to rise violence, which is referred to as the brutalization effect.


In conclusion, there is a wide difference between different people about the death…