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Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly - Research Paper Example

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The issue of capital punishment, more specifically the death penalty, is a topic that can split the American public as far as their view points to two extreme sides. There are those who are against the death penalty and those who are for the death penalty. The death penalty can be such a polarizing topic that there are 16 states that have abolished the death penalty as opposed to the 34 states as well as the United States government and the military supporting it (Jones, 2002). The death penalty can be defined as the taking of a human’s life for their crimes or imposing the punishment of death for their crimes. A question arises that whether this death penalty is just and applied fairly? The death penalty is just and it is applied fairly and according to a Gallup Poll in May of 2002, 7 in 10 Americans agree. There is a vast majority of the Americans who insist on abolishing the death penalty of the mentally retarded at least. Almost 82% of the American population opposes death penalty for this particular group while the rest support the action. The case of Andrea Yates created this ratio in court. She was found guilty of murdering her five children but was mentally ill herself. Nearly 75% of the people opposed death penalty for her. History tells that America has been fairly constant in its decision for death penalty under the age of 21. This has varied over many years. They have refused to be supportive in this regard. In 1965, when 45% favored the death penalty in general, only 21% were in favor of applying the rule on juveniles. During the colonial era of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, England regarded death as a penalty for crimes such as treason, manslaughter, robbery, rape, murder, counterfeiting, arson, burglary, theft – or any capital crimes of the like. The American colonial past and the present followed the same footsteps. Over the period of time it became illogical to apprehend the same punishment for all these crimes, hence it was deduced that only the gravest of crimes will be awarded with death. However, America followed the tradition of refusing to show any understanding towards the minority which denied any such punishment. It is researched that they did not follow the tradition blindly but due to the institutional structure prevailing in the eighteenth century, the role of capital punishment was broader than it is today. As mentioned above, the notion of death penalty varied from state to state. The northern colonial penal codes were more severe than those in England because of the varying religious origins of the colonies (Banner, 2002). Coincidentally, the era of American colonization coincided with the stiffening of the criminal law prevailing in England. The crimes that seemed minor to most of them such as poaching deer, stealing minor amount of cash and the like, started to be regarded as deathly and consequential. Colonies which had a larger number of slaves tried them and punished them for every little crime they did. As long as slavery was common, the system continued to function with more terror and bitterness. Much was done out of racial differences. Blacks were accused and caught for crimes more frequently. The crimes that were committed by the whites were left unattended in most cases. What was to be done with such kind of inequality? Execultions of the criminals were conducted on the roads for better ...Show more
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Summary

Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly? Name University Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly? In American politics the issue of death penalty remains unresolved and controversial. A report was written by Jeffery Jones in 2002 on the analysis of the American majority claiming the death penalty as applied fairly…
Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly
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