Against Capital Punishment Essay

1332 Words 6 Pages
Against Capital Punishment

Currently in the United States, the death penalty is ruled constitutional. This is a mistake, and capital punishment should be unconstitutional. The imposition of the death penalty has been challenged under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution that states, ?Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.? 6 (United States Constitution)

Throughout its existence, the death penalty has been racially bias, performed on the innocent, and administered cruel and unusual punishment. Many cases have been brought before the Supreme Court arguing that the death penalty should be considered Cruel and unusual punishment. ?In 1967, the President's
…show more content…
California was a case in 1971 that argued that leaving the choice between life imprisonments or death to the total discretion of the jury violated the due-process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. McGautha?s appeal was denied, and the Supreme Court gave juries the discretion to impose either a life sentence or the death penalty. A jury could now inflict a death sentence without taking into account the circumstances of the case or the situations involved. It allowed a jury to find a person guilty and then, in the absence of any guidance or direction, decide if that person should live or die. This is giving the juries too much power in deciding if the death penalty fits the crime. This also gives the jury the opportunity to get emotionally involved in the trial and hand down a death sentence to an innocent person.

Furman v. Georgia was brought to the Supreme Court on the basis that juries imposed the death penalty in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner. This is a result of the decision in the case of McGautha v. California, which gave the jury freedom to use their own discretion in imposing the death penalty. These cases made the death penalty cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment.1 (references of www.deathpenalty.org). Justice Potter Stewart commented on the arbitrarily imposed death penalty by saying, ?These death sentences are cruel and unusual in the same way that being struck by

Related Documents