StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Capital Punishment in the United States: A Political Science Perspective - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Capital Punishment in the United States: A Political Science Perspective

The US is a Constitution-based federal republic. This basically translates into a government wherein the powers of the central (national) government are limited or restricted and in which the component states enjoy a certain degree of autonomy, sovereignty and self-government. In this form, the sovereign power rests with the people who elect their representatives. However, the component states that form the United States are bound by the Supreme law of the land, the Constitution.
With that in mind, it would be necessary to state the degree of autonomy each state has in governing its respective territories and constituents. Each state has the three main branches of government, namely the executive, legislative and judiciary. The executive is headed by the Governor, while the legislative and judiciary are composed of State representatives similar to that of these branches in the national level. Each state has its own laws and each State Supreme Court has the power to create the judicial determination of issues of law on their own, subject only to the limitations imposed by the Constitution and the US Supreme Court.
One of the limitations imposed by the U.S. Constitution on the issue of capital punishment is mainly enshrined in the Eighth Amendment, proscribing the use of cruel and unusual punishment. For around four decades now since 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court has held steadfast in its ruling that the death penalty does not violate of the Eighth Amendment. Another key limitation is one wherein the U.S. Supreme Court overturned death penalty sentences in 19 states, when it held that the death penalty could not be imposed on convicted murderers who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed their crimes. (Walker 2006)
Thus, it can be seen that indeed each state has the right to determine whether or not a convicted felon should be executed, as long as the State law allows it, and the practice is in accordance with the limitations set on the National level.
Therefore, various differences can be seen as to how State practice and legislation allows capital punishment. California, Connecticut, Florida, and Texas are four States that allow the practice. However, California's governor has the sole power to grant clemency or reprieve from the death penalty. In Connecticut, the exclusive power lies in the State Board of Pardons. Florida's situation is where the Governor has the authority, but can do so only on the advice of the Board of Executive Clemency, and the conditions are almost the same in Texas. Out of the 50 States in the US, 12 do not allow the practice of capital punishment. (DPIC, 2006)
Many of the issues surrounding capital punishment are based mainly on human conduct and behavior as well as ethical and moral standards. Arguments supportive of the death penalty in the United States include deterrence, retribution, and the growing concern of overcrowded prisons, among others. These individuals feel that by allowing the death penalty, potential criminals would be deterred in conducting their criminal motives. Retribution or revenge is also on the pro side, basically allowing the community the satisfaction of knowing that the person who committed such heinous crimes would not be ...Show more

Summary

Capital punishment has always been a controversial issue anywhere in the world, and has been synonymously used with the death penalty. It is commonly viewed as unethical and immoral means of punishment upon those that are found guilty of having committed heinous and violent crimes…
Author : stanleykulas
Capital Punishment in the United States: A Political Science Perspective essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Capital Punishment in the United States: A Political Science Perspective"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Capital Punishment
Some raise questions over ethical acceptability of the issue as well. The societies have in the past punished the criminals by sentencing them to death but now with the modernization of the world, there are many nations which have abolished the death penalty.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Position Paper: Ban of Capital Punishment in the United States for Convicted Criminals
Although almost every country encourages the capital punishment for certain offences in some form or the other, there are several debates as well in regard to the concerned issue (“Debate: Death Penalty”). Thus, while there are arguments supporting the death penalty considering the appropriateness, cost and other factors, there exist other arguments that are against such a method of punishment considering it to be inhuman (“The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment”).
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Capital Punishment
This unusual situation can take place when the decision is made to support a moral justice or a greater good. This paper will concentrate on capital punishment or the death penalty, a practice that some people consider as morally right while others disagree.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Capital Punishment Essay
Capital punishment has been abolished in many countries across Europe, Latin America although it is still retained in some parts of Asia and Africa1. In non democratic countries, especially in Middle East, capital punishment is still quite common. Capital punishment is usually given for murder, treason and in Muslim countries it is also given for sexual and religious crimes2.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Capital Punishment Master Essay
By contrast, the abolitionists see the impact of executions as a statement of pervasive importance about the relationship between the government and the individual. Abolitionists in the United States view capital punishment as a fundamental political issue; proponents usually assert that the question is neither fundamental nor political.
24 pages (6000 words) Essay
Capital Punishment in the United States
Whereas, capital punishment or death penalty would mean the execution (killing) of a person by the state as punishment for a crime. As time passes by, the deteriorating condition of our society is fast becoming intolerable and along with this comes the proliferation of heinous crimes.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Capital punishment the United States
The mode of execution and the criteria for deciding which offenses qualify for capital punishment as well as the age limit vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and is usually the discretion of the state judicial system. However homicide is universally punishable by death [Daly M, Wilson M.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Capital Punishment
Persons who have been sentenced to death are usually kept segregated from other prisoners in a special part of the prison called ‘Death Row’ pending their execution.1 Before 2004, hanging and
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Capital Punishment: Is it Cruel and Unusual Punishment according to the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution
Most legal experts agree that punishments including bodily dismemberment or torture are undoubtedly classified as cruel. Again, terminologies are open to interpretation as evidenced by the current debate at the highest level of government involving the definition
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Capital Punishment
According to the report proponents of capital punishment speak the language of local option and states' rights not only because this insulates the pro-capital punishment orientation of most state governments from federal review, but because states and localities are the levels of government that usually hold power over ordinary criminal justice decisions.
29 pages (7250 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation