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American legal system - Coursework Example

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American legal system

The main justification for capital punishment in the United States is the concept of future dangerousness. Also referred to as incapacitation, this validation for penalty is founded on the danger that a criminal will probably pose to the society in the future. The need by the state to guard its citizens from the danger that the criminal poses to society is the rationale for punishing someone based on their dangerousness. This means that the state decides to incapacitate a criminal in order to make certain that the offender does not commit another criminal act (Berry, n.d). Judicial ambitions on the side of a prosecutor and personal interests may shape the outcome of a capital case. This is because once on the bench, judges in most of the states are put through elections, frequently partisan, where their verdicts in capital cases can be, and frequently are, used in efforts to overthrow them. A judge may unfairly convict an offender to the death penalty not because the offender deserves it but merely because he fears loosing his position. Moreover, upgrades to superior courts need political sponsorship and in some cases, electoral backing that is shaped by compelling proof that the judge is “tough on crime” as he or she handles capital cases. ...
This is one of the reasons why the penalty should be abolished. Still focusing on the point of personal interests and selfish gains, most judges decide capital cases in a way that they will be safe. For instance, where the victim is of the same race with the juror, wherein most jurors are often predominately white, the juror will most probably vote for death penalty for the offender. Presumably, this decision of the jury is partly based on the likelihood of the defendant posing a threat to the juror, his family or his friends. This is a very personal move for the jury based not on justice but rather on selfish gains and personal protection. Evidence also suggest that these jurors are always conscious of this analysis whereby they constantly consider the race of the defendant and of the victim to decide the capital case (Berry, n.d). According to Petrie & Coverdill (2010), death sentences are more expected when the victim is female, when there is an associated offense, when several victims are involved and when the victim is a stranger to the offender. Additionally, analyses suggest that several victim and crime attributes shape the decision of capital cases. These include higher victim age, sexual harassments, victims who were police officers, kidnappings, young victims, and the existence of codefendants. These and many other attributes shape the verdict of capital cases thus not adhering to the set laws and fairness. Due to this, the death penalty should be done away with since there is no sincerity in deciding the cases. As stated earlier, future dangerousness of the offender is the main justification as foundation for death penalty. However, the unquestionable ...Show more

Summary

American Legal System: Why Death Penalty should be Abolished Name: University: Introduction In the United States, a number of blameless people have been condemned to death. Since 1900, American criminologists established 23 cases that involved innocent people being most likely unfairly killed…
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American legal system essay example
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