Harvard University Death Penalty Discussion Response

I’m working on a sociology discussion question and need an explanation to help me understand better.

here is the discussion question : Without ignoring due process and Constitutional protections, what
changes to the death penalty would make it a more effective deterrent to
murder? here is my answer to the question: Most people have legitimate feelings about the death penalty’s deterrence impact. A deterrent impact is self-evident to others. To some, the lack of a deterrence impact is self-evident attributable to the complexity of the death penalty’s encroachment and the emotion-driven nature of many of these murders. Both perspectives may be valid, as the death penalty’s deterrent impact varies depending on the individual and situation. Frameworks of constitutional decision-making by criminologists are less empirically structured and put a strong focus on the position of perceptions. These frameworks also agree that people’s expectations of severity and certainty can differ significantly from facts and are likely affected by their previous experiences with criminal justice.One of the changes is the acceptance and concurrence that the death penalty is cruel and unusual. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (n.d), it’s unfair since it dates back to the era when oppression, shaming, and other forms of corporal punishment were prevalent. The death penalty, like other inhuman activities, has no place in modern society. It’s odd that just America, among all the Western developed nations, is exposed to this form of sentence (American Civil Liberties Union, n.d). It’s similarly rare since, in America, only a minor percentage of sentenced criminals are sentenced to death. The death punishment is an appalling defilement of civil rights and is unsuited with the political system’s critical principles. Generally, from a human rights perspective, the death penalty is uncultured, then, in fact, it is unmerited and inherently unfair.Another change is incapacitation. Convicted criminals can be sentenced to life in prison for they are in several nations and jurisdictions that have put an end to the death penalty. For homicide, the majority of state regulations provide for life sentences with little to no chance of parole. A large number of citizens favor solutions to capital punishment, according to many recent surveys of public opinion on capital punishment (Ristoph, 2018). When given the information of several offenses for which death is a potential sentence, a majority of people can prefer life imprisonment deprived of the likelihood of parole as a conventional substitute to the death penalty. Here is my 4 fellow classmates posts please wite about 150-200 words reply :

1- Diego : I think a big change that we should implement to make the death penalty a more effective deterrent to people is having a specialized court that deals with all types of homicides and deals with death row appeals. The biggest flaw is waiting for these processes, especially the appeals to conclude a decision whether the death penalty will stay with the individual or not. In an article, “Time on Death Row” published by the death penalty information center has stated, “Death-row prisoners in the U.S. typically spend more than a decade awaiting execution. Some prisoners have been on death row for well over 20 years.” It also presents a chart indicating that the average wait time for death row inmates awaiting execution has been climbing ever since the 1980s. Having the specialized court to adhere to this matter will ensure a significantly quicker process and guarantees outcomes, not only execution outcomes, but to ensure the court is also not sending an innocent person to death; this will create a more effective deterrent to murder. Write reply here….

2- Mariah : The death penalty is also known as capital punishment through the state that involves the killing of an individual who committed a serious offense by execution. As discussed in class last night, our judicial system is “innocent until proven guilty” and in other countries it is the complete opposite. In some countries you are guilty until proven innocent. If our system was harsher (which I believe it’s already harsh and cruel enough), that could deter individuals away from committing such serious crimes. If we followed other countries with stricter rules from the time the crime was committed it could make people second guess the crime. Its hopeful to wish for a safe and crime free world but that’s not the case. We do have an over crowded jail system and it seems that people wait years to be put on trial versus serving their sentence to death sooner. If our prisons were not so over crowded and those who have committed such serious crimes that are eligible for the death penalty should be processed and put on trial first. If these serious crimes were put on trial and sentenced a lot sooner it could possibly frighten people to not commit the crime knowing they will be sentenced a lot faster, instead we have individuals who are sitting in prison for serious crimes for years without being sentenced or put on trial. What is the point after all that time to put them on trial? Obviously the community would like justice, but the criminal has already been living in prison for years, with our taxpayer dollars, not officially sentenced to their death. Write reply here….

3- Adrian : The death penalty has always been a tough topic for everyone involved. Ending someones life because of a crime they committed has been very controversial. One argument that I would propose about making the death penalty a more effective deterrent would be to change the process and timing of the death penalty. On average the death penalty process takes about 16-20 years to complete. It makes me believe that even though some inmates are put on death row, they aren’t really “scared” of the death sentence because they know they will still have a chance of life, but in prison. People who do try to commit murders in society probably know that the death penalty is a long process which does not stop them from committing the crime. If we can make the death penalty process much quicker, maybe with one or two years of the processing, more people will think twice about committing the harsh crime. Write reply here….

4- Leslie: The idea of capital punishment to me was always questionable to me. I preach about giving people second chances, that we should treat people rather than punish them, and killing someone because they killed someone sounded hypocritical to me. A semester into this class I’ve learned that nothing is black and white. The purpose of prisons were to strip individuality from criminals and keep them away from the public. In order to make the death penalty more effective would be to enact the punishment on those who have already been given too many chances, to learn when treatment/rehabilitation is no longer functioning, and realizing that a prison is not doing it’s purpose to a mass murderer. In the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, they state that the only time they practice such executions is when the guilty preform “murder for financial gain, murder by a person previously convicted of murder, murder of multiple victims, murder with torture, murder of a peace officer, murder of a witness to prevent testimony and several other murders under specified circumstances”. Which I believe are valid reasons why to take someone out of the equation. I believe when there is even the slightest of hope and change of heart should be when individuals show a promising change in behavior. Punishment of death should be the very last option; when all hope is lost I someone and their acts must meet the punishment to deter future imitators. Write reply here…. Thank you


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