Monday, March 05, 2007

Death to Some


Why should the same crime receive the death penalty in one town and not another?

What is the authors opoinion on the death penalty?

Where in the US Constitution is the death penalty a means afforded to the state?

Do people who commit horrible crimes deserve to die? Should the U.S. keep the death penalty?

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

The Eighth Amendment protects the rights of Americans after they have been convicted of a crime.

It protects people from cruel and unusual punishment. Cruel and unusual punishment means a really horrible punishment like torture. It also means a punishment that does not fit the crime.

The Eighth Amendment makes sure that you do not go to jail for jay walking. It also makes sure that you do not go to prison for life for stealing a little money.

Is the death penalty a cruel and unusual punishment? Some people think so and they believe that the Constitution forbids it.


  1. According to the Eighth Amendment, what is a cruel and unusual punishment?
  2. Why do some people think the death penalty is a good idea?
  3. Why do some people think the death penalty is a bad idea?

7 comments:

zohra said...

Listening to the half discussion we had in class, I think that the same crime should receive the same treatment and death penalty no mater where the crime is committed. I think that its unfair and serves no justice to the people being tried because one gets off easy due to the mercy of the court in that town. The authors opinion of the death penalty was pretty straight forward and showed that he didn’t like the fact that town courts were sentencing the death penalty while others wont because of where the person was being tried. He clearly said that it shouldn’t be decided by county lines drawn. I think that people who commit crimes relating with murder should get the death penalty because they were out to kill a person and take their life. Why should they be allowed to live and be happy while that person is dead and has a family suffering a loss. This reminds me of Hammurabi’s code of laws, where he said an eye for eye. I think that if a person can kill someone and expect not to have consequences the same they would commit crimes, but if a person knew that if they murdered someone and knew they would be killed as well people would be afraid to commit crimes. I think that the US should keep the death penalty because sitting in jail doesn’t do justice to those who were left to suffer and have innocent lives taken away. I think that some people find the death penalty a bad idea, but I think it puts fear in murders eyes and may even prevent murders from happening if they know the consequences aren’t just sitting in a jail cell rotting. I think that people should always have consequences that are realistic for the crime and the punishment should be equal. I think stealing a little money is a capital punishment but it shouldn’t be a slap on the hand. I think it all relies on the checks and balances of the judicial system and if laws are getting passed for certain states to have unequal punishments in different towns, it needs to be looked at and re-evaluated.

Josh said...

I have always found the death penalty to be such a weird punishment. I usually hear about the death penalty for people who commit murder. Of course other crimes can get the death penalty, but this is the most common one that I hear about. Hammurabi's code was an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, so maybe this is the mentality that we have chosen to uphold, but taking a murderer's life does no teach them a lesson. Rotting away in prison in my opinion would be more of a reasonable and logical punishment. I also found it interesting that in Houston, a city that practices the death penalty is actually one that has the most people who commit crimes subject ot the punishment. You would think that people would be intimidated by such a punishment. I also feel that if a murdered in one town receives the deatjh penalty, this needs to be a national jurisdiction. People who commit the same crime should receive the same punishment.

Sharkey said...

During class today we discussed the 8th amendment. The 8th amendment was about the death penalty and where the us constitution stands. When Mr. Brown asked why one crime gets the death penalty in one town and not the other is because it all depends on the jury and the prosecutor. All the prosecutor’s think differently on the crime and how they will punish the person. The U.S. constitution is not brought up enough during a prosecution so nobody knows what’s going on. I do believe that the people who commit the bad crimes go on the death row. What if it’s your child, family member or somebody you know gets killed by a murder. Wouldn’t you want to see that person placed with the death penalty. To see how it’s feels when you know that you are dieing and the pain you feel. I do think that the U.S. should keep the death penalty, because that’s the way the person is receiving what he has done to somebody else. No the death penalty is not a cruel and unusual punishment. People think the death penalty is a good idea because it eliminates mass murders in our society. People don’t want that person living on there block or building after they get out of jail. Some people see that the death penalty is a bad idea because it causes more problems.

vishnell said...

If someone decides to take away another human beings life then their punishment should be the same. I think the death penalty should go to the ones who deserve it and every town should give death penalty to a crime that is accurate for it. I agree with Zohra completely when she stated “I think that people who commit crimes relating with murder should get the death penalty because they were out to kill a person and take their life. Why should they be allowed to live and be happy while that person is dead and has a family suffering a loss” She took the words straight out of my mouth. If someone is allowed to take away another’s life so quick then they should get the same treatment. I also agree with Zohra about less murders occurring because the death penalty will make a person think twice about their actions because their life is at risk too.

The death penalty is obviously a cruel punishment but if somebody deserves it then it doesn’t make it cruel too me. It’s cruel what the victim getting the death penalty did to begin with. I don’t find it unusual either if you murdered somebody. Death penalty fits the crime for any murderer in my eyes. You can’t just decide to take away somebody’s life. The people that are against the death penalty, how would you feel if somebody killed a person you love? You would want that person living? I know if a person I loved was murdered I would want the murderer facing the death penalty with out a doubt.

Superfly said...

The Shortest joanna Post You've Ever Seen:

What weirds me out so much about the death penalty is not that we're killing someone (even though we're invoking Hammurabbi when we've so tried to distance ourselves from that "eye for eye" mentality in our supposedly wicked advanced society). It that, those who claim to be so G-d fearing (I'm talking about Houston having the - or one of the - highest rates of death penalty) feel that they have the right to, as they say, Play G-d. Additionally, do they think killing a murder makes them all high and mighty? Murder is murder, whether it's your father or a cow, a baby killer or a baby-salmon (that's a Smolt, btw).

Just read Zohra's comment, interesting how our Hammurabbi connections differ. Maybe that would be most effective if the death penalty didn't go against most of the rights and things we have in this country. Maybe if it didn't violate most codes of ethics. Also, think cost effectiveness. Even Val Gritch is anti-death penalty, and she's a republican (okay, maybe that was uncalled for, my point was that it is opposed on both sides of the party spectrum).

Also, to combat Zohra's point about fear, having the death penalty has NOT lowered the crime rates in these places. If it's supposed to strike fear into the hearts of would-be murderers, wouldn't the number of people actually put to death be much lower? In general, I don't think the murderers are thinking about that when they kill somebody.

I apologize, this is not, in fact, the shortest comment ever... Thought it was going to be, but it's not.

~RitaMarie~ said...

I completely agree with Joanna. It is not upto the court or anyone else to decide who should or should not be killed. Think about it, yes it may very well be true that the person was out to kill another but what purpose is it serving to kill them in return. It is as equal to a child hitting another child and then their parents hitting them telling them not to hit others. It doesn't teach the child not to hit. Ending someone's life because they tried to end someone elses is not practical and serves no purpose. I feel that they should be in jail for life where they reap the consequenses of their actions instead of ending their life all together where they are personally effected by their actions.

Sam said...

Obviously, the death penalty is barbaric and we're one of the only modern countries that still does it. There is no fear factor to the "DP", and thats obvious due to the fact that in areas that carry out the DP more, the crime rate is still really high.


Isn't it more expensive to kill these people than keep them alive??



I totally agree with Josh, let them rot in jail for the rest of their lives. Killing them isn't a punishment for them, its an escape. Put them in a 6x6 room, no windows, a toilet/shower, and no exercise/recreation time. The punishment is for them to never leave that room for the rest of their lives, and their only human contact is when someone brings them food.

The process of Lethal Injection is wierd and could be very prone to mistakes. I found a website that gives you the details of FL's lethal injection process. Its aweful.

"LETHAL INJECTION PROCEDURE IN FLORIDA

The procedure for execution by lethal injection is as follows:
The defendant is given a thorough physical examination
sometime prior to the date of execution, including a medical
history.
On the date of the execution the defendant is fed his last
meal. Utensils authorized are a plate and a spoon.
A physician consults with the defendant and explains the
execution procedure. The defendant is offered Valium.
The defendant is escorted to the preparation area near the
death chamber and is laid down on a gurney. The gurney has straps
which are used to secure the defendant.
Two IV's are started by qualified medical personnel. One IV
is placed in each arm. A saline solution is started in each IV.
Meanwhile, a pharmacist prepares eight syringes, numbered one
through eight.
Syringes numbered one and two contain Sodium Pentathol. The
dosage itself is lethal. This drug is used in surgical settings as
an anaesthetic. It will take effect in a matter of seconds.
Syringe number three contains a saline solution which is used
as a flushing agent.
Syringes four and five contain a lethal dosage of Pancuronium
Bromide which causes paralysis.
Syringe six contains a saline solution which is used as a
flushing agent.
Syringes seven and eight contain a lethal dosage of Potassium
Chloride which will stop the heart from beating.
The syringes are inserted, in numerical order, into a port in
the IV tube and are administered one after the other in the order
stated.
Six persons are present in the death chamber besides the
defendant. In addition to the executioner, there is a medical
doctor, a physician's assistant, and three others, presumably
security personnel. The medical doctor is present in the event
there is some unusual event that needs medical attention and the
physician's assistant is present both as an observer and to check
for a pulse after the drugs have been administered.

From the website of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts at www.jud18.flcourts.org/"

I don't know. That just seems like a long, ardous process all just to kill someone. It seems really unnecessary.