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Facing the Death Penalty: Essays on a Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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❶There have been 13, executions since colonial times. When the case went to trial Simmons had admitted to the murder and was found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to the death penalty.

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By focusing on those awaiting death, they present the awful truth behind the statistics in concrete, personal terms. Bowers, author of Legal Homicide Between and , there were 3, executions carried out under state and civil authority in the United States. Since the ten-year moratorium on capital punishment ended in , more than one hundred prisoners have been executed. There are more than two thousand men and women now living on death row awaiting their executions.

Facing the Death Penalty offers an in-depth examination of what life under a sentence of death is like for condemned inmates and their families, how and why various professionals assist them in their struggle for life, and what these personal experiences with capital punishment tell us about the wisdom of this penal policy. The contributors include historians, attorneys, sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, a minister, a philosopher, and three prisoners.

One of the prisoner-contributors is Willie Jasper Darden, Jr. The inter-disciplinary perspectives offered in this book will not solve the death penalty debate, but they offer important and unique insights on the full effects of American capital punishment provisions. While the book does not set out to generate sympathy for those convicted of horrible crimes, taken together, the essays build a case for abolition of the death penalty. It represents the best of those who have seen the worst.

Try logging in through your institution for access. Log in to your personal account or through your institution. Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons in Ottawa in in support of a bill to abolish capital punishment in Canada, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau reminded the members of the Commons: I want to make it very clear that if the majority of the Honourable Members vote against abolition, some people are going to be hanged….

Between and there were 3, executions carried out under state and civil authority in the United States U. Department of Justice, The peak year, , saw executions, but not since has the annual figure surpassed. Between then and the pace of executions declined to the point where, in the decade of the s, a total of executions were carried out.

After , in fact, challenges to the constitutional validity of death penalty statutes led to a ten-year moratorium. Executions resumed in with that of Gary Gilmore in Utah , and on From that time until 1 November , death sentences or resentences have been meted out, all for the crime of murder. One of the condemned, Chol Soo Lee, had his death sentence reversed and was later acquitted of the crime for which he was sent to prison. Four others committed suicide on death row. Of those cases remaining, are currently pending Only one who has endured the experience can fully understand the thoughts and emotions of a person who has been condemned to die at the hands of the executioner.

Such an individual is kept in close confinement, deprived of all the creature comforts of life, forced to contemplate a sudden and violent death by a means already ordained and known to him or her. It is a period during which the soul and spirit of any mortal is severely tested.

In this chapter I will illustrate, by factual examples, the manner in which some of those who have been judicially Over the last three and a half centuries, American jurisdictions have executed people for crimes committed while they were under the age of 18 see Streib, Their ages at execution ranged from 12 to All were healthy young people with no reason to expect to die from natural causes in the foreseeable future.

All came to contemplate their deaths from execution during waiting periods that lasted from a few weeks to over ten years. The focus of this chapter is on the attitudes and perceptions of these executed young persons as they face execution. His hands and legs were strapped to the chair.

The witnesses were now in place in the observation room, separated by a glass partition from the execution chamber. John was sitting no more than fifteen feet away. The warden was about to begin the ritual of the execution.

As the number of condemned prisoners in the United States grows, so does the problem of finding competent attorneys to handle death penalty cases when the execution date draws near Mello, In this essay, I would like to reflect on the motivations, rewards, and frustrations connected with this type of work, based on my five years of defending those who live under a sentence of death in Florida. Representing an inmate on death row in collateral proceedings, which occur after the trial and initial appeal have run their course, is an unusual undertaking for volunteer lawyers.

But it can be one of the most important, and even one of the most rewarding, experiences in a legal career. Handling capital cases in their collateral phase is unusual partly because there are relatively few lawyers who do it; hence the experience is reserved to a small but privileged minority.

It is also unusual because it presents—or may present—special and difficult problems of advocacy, some of which are ethical I am firmly convinced that if the citizens of the United States fully understood the nature and effects of the death penalty, we would no longer allow the punishment to be imposed. Unfortunately, however, many people have been misinformed or have closed their minds about this issue, and the media coverage of executions, if present at all, is steadily shrinking.

Furthermore, the media that still provide coverage have continually failed to describe what the inmate is actually like and what he and his family experience during his final hours. We learn about the final meal, the last statement, and the The experiences of the families of the terminally ill and the institutional supports available to them have been extensively studied.

In contrast, the literature on the families of homicide victims is surprisingly sparse, and almost nothing has been written about the families of condemned prisoners. There have been many cases in the United States in recent years that have been thought to be using cruel and unusual punishment. Some of the cases in The United States have involved a life sentence for shoplifting in California to the possibility of a life sentence for a 12 year old boy in the state of Pennsylvania.

Here are few more cases that have gotten a lot of media attention for the cruelty of their punishments. At the age of 13 Joe Sullivan was convicted of raping a 72 year old woman. Sullivan did admit to burglarizing her mom with two other boys but says he did not go back to commit the rape. Sullivan was found guilty and sentenced in life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Wilson was convicted at the age of 17 for performing sex acts on a 15 year old consenting girl. Wilson was sentenced to 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole. The state of Ohio has been accused of cruel and unusual punishment while trying to execute men on death row. One of the most recent stories was in This was not the first time Ohio has been accused of this, in they had trouble executing Joseph Clark and then in they had trouble executing Christopher Newton.

The Ohio chapter of the Americans Civil Liberties wanted the state to stop all executions because they felt it was cruel and unusual punishment. This was brought about because of a case out of Missouri State.

This case involved a 17 year old who had been sentenced to the death penalty. In Simmons planned to murder Shirley Crook.

Simmons and two of his friends met in the middle of the night but one of them dropped out of the plan. Simmons and Benjamin broke into Mrs. They drove her to a state park and threw her off a bridge. When the case went to trial Simmons had admitted to the murder and was found guilty by the jury and was sentenced to the death penalty. Simmons appealed his sentence several times stating that they should have taken his age into consideration.

He was not able to get an appeal until when the state of Virginia had ruled it unconstitutional to give the mentally challenged the death penalty.

Simmons then received life in prison without the possibility of parole. April 14th of Taylor was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after ten years. In the state of Georgia the sentence for a sex offender that failed to register for a second time is a mandatory life sentence. Cedric Bradshaw received this sentence after having trouble finding a place to live and therefore could not register on time.

The court ordered Bradshaw to be re-sentenced. His lawyer, Robert Persse, was happy with the ruling. The 8th amendment of the constitution protects Americans for being subject to punishments that do not fit the crime they have admitted. In England parliament decided to make bailable and non-bailable crime but it seemed that the king would still make it so they did not have to set a bail.

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The Death Penalty is Cruel and Unusual Punishment Essay - The Death Penalty is Cruel and Unusual Punishment The Eight Amendment of the United States says, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”.

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Essay The Death Penalty: Cruel and Unusual Words | 6 Pages. The death penalty is the most inhuman and crucial punishment. Even though it is not applied in every state, the death penalty is a very strong debate and .

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment - The death penalty also known as capital punishment is an execution in which the person who committed the offence is put to death . The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, has been in American History for a very long time. There have been 13, executions since colonial times. It is a cruel and very unusual punishment.

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment Cruel and unusual punishment is the term used to describe criminal punishment which is considered unacceptable due to the suffering or humiliation it causes on the person. From a constitutional perspective, the answer is almost certainly that the death penalty does not qualify as cruel and unusual punishment per the 8th Amendment. If the makeup of our Supreme Court changes, the death penalty may be ruled unconstitutional in the future; the trend is heading that way.