A young girl was standing outside a convenient store, abiding by the mandatory six-foot spacing, because of the virus. She was there to purchase a soda and a snack. A bullet struck her in the back of the head and she was dead by the time her body crumpled to the pavement.
Is Capital Punishment a legal and moral method of dealing with those individuals who commit the most heinous crimes? Is there a more cost-effective way of handling these asocial people?
Questions about Capital Punishment, also known as the Death Penalty, have been reviewed and ruled upon thousands of times in court cases across the land.
The United States Supreme Court has stated that the Death Penalty is an appropriate punishment for the most horrific murders that man commits. The Court has determined that the Death Penalty is narrowly applicable with certain exceptions: no minors, no person with mental retardation or mental illness can be administered that final punishment.
The U S Supreme Court mandated a bifurcated trial structure in Capital Punishment cases. It determined that a jury would decide whether Capital Punishment was the appropriate punishment, thus not relying on a single judge.
Through years of judicial reviews, the United Stated Supreme Court has affirmed the right of the states and the federal government to use Capital Punishment as a penalty, despite fierce opposition from liberal groups. These groups incessantly bombarded the court system with litigation and never succeeded in changing the Court’s viewpoint about Capital Punishment.
The liberal groups eventually altered their strategy from one of legality to cost effectiveness. They sought ways to increase the time between conviction and execution in order to make it cost prohibitive.
A Capital Punishment court case costs between four hundred thousand and three million dollars, depending on the state. It also takes an average of twenty years before a court-ordered execution is carried out. In the meantime, it costs approximately ninety thousand dollars per year to keep an inmate on death row.
These groups have won their ideological battle. In states that are still pro Death Penalty, the majority of convicted murderers are sentenced to life in prison rather than to the Death Penalty.
In reviewing the history of Capital Punishment, it was glaringly obvious to see that revisions are needed.
Too often, race or socioeconomic status played a role in whether the Death Penalty was sought and delivered. Poorly qualified and undertrained defense attorneys were often involved. Defective witnesses and prosecutor misdeeds were not uncommon.
These concerns have been mitigated and removed.
- The days of relying on a sole witness are long gone.
- Security cameras and personal phone video are quite compelling.
- Specialized defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges are assigned to murder trials.
- Fingerprints have been replaced with DNA which is considered infallible.
Criminals caught with the preverbal smoking gun can now be prosecuted in a fair and transparent trial. Race, gender, economics nor any other discernible attribute can be attributed to a faulty trial.
With the mind-numbing daily shootings and killings taking place in our major cities, a renewed emphasis on retribution in the form of Capital Punishment would certainly force some of these shooters to rethink their actions. Deterrence is the goal of the Criminal Justice System – not reform.
Does Capital Punishment deter crime? Studies have shown that very harsh penalties substantially reduce crime.
I personally can attest that two separate instances in my career, I was involved in the apprehension of individuals who were wanted for murder.
Both had previously committed murder, been convicted and served their sentences. Once back on the streets, they both committed their second murders. If these two subjects had been given the ultimate penalty for their first murders, there would have never been more victims.
Bring back Capital Punishment and reestablish our citizens’ faith in the criminal justice system.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect another. And as always, stay safe.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
Larry enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL
View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com and review his book by the same name.
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