Death Penalty Ethics

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This year the state of Nebraska abolished the use of the death penalty as a punishment for murder. The Nebraska legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of Governor Pete Ricketts according to Berman (2015). A total of 19 states currently do not have the death penalty for reasons ranging from cost, the quality of the defense, and whether or not it is cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, punishment to include torture, barbarous punishments, degrading punishments not known to the common law, and punishments so disproportionate to the offense as to shock the general moral sense (U.S. Const. amend. VIII). The ethics of the death penalty have long remained as a source of …show more content…
“It is not only unusual in the effect it has upon the defendant experiencing it, but also upon a number of members in society, including: the family members of the defendant, the jury, the defense attorney, the victim’s family, staff on death row, and the executioner”(Boys, 2011). She describes that the death penalty is unusual for the defendant because while being on death row an inmate can develop extreme social dysfunctions regardless of their level of dysfunction at the time of sentencing. You may wonder why this matters if the inmate will be dead eventually but between 1973 and 1995 68% of cases were overturned. 61% were given lesser sentences and 7% were found not guilty and released (Boys, 2011). So by breeding that social dysfunction on death row it may be returned to society eventually. The death penalty is unusual for family members because dealing with the death of a loved one is traumatic. It is also traumatic for the jury, defense attorney, victim’s families, death row staff, and executioner. An offender receiving the death penalty brings stress, a lack of closure, and blame shifting to many other people other than the offender and therefore makes it unusual. While it is true that sentencing someone to the death penalty brings punishment to others, it is still inflicting the greatest punishment on the …show more content…
There are many reasons that it may be unconstitutional, but I found arguments with each. These arguments lead me to still support my hypothesis that the death penalty does not fall under cruel and unusual punishment and it is constitutional. The limitation of the articles I found is that they do not support my hypothesis. I had trouble finding an article that did support my hypothesis. I did however provide my argument that contradicted their hypothesis and supported my own. I believe that in further research, more articles supporting the death penalty as constitutional should be researched. There are many arguments why it can be considered constitutional. It was upheld by the Supreme Court before and continues to be. The death penalty has been abolished in many states and I feel that it will continue to be abolished in others. I do not believe that it will be abolished entirely. Some states will hold out and continue. As long as the Supreme Court continues to support the death penalty by upholding the use of certain drugs the death penalty will

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