Trends in Capital Punishment

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Trends in Capital Punishment

One of the most controversial and current issues in criminal justice is capital punishment.

As of November, 2012, thirty-three states and the Federal government allow the use of the death penalty. Since 2007, four states have abolished the death penalty, and the rate of executions in the states that allow it has slowed dramatically. Several states have bills pending that have the potential to end or limit the use of capital punishment in those states.

Prepare a 4- to 5-page report in a Microsoft Word document on the death penalty that covers the following points:

  • Illinois is one of the states that recently abolished the death penalty. Prior to making the change in the law, the governor had simply stopped signing death warrants. For what reason did the governor decide to stop approving executions? Was his reason valid? Explain your reasoning.
  • Describe the "Innocence Project," including its goals and procedures. Is this group effective?
  • Consider the recent Supreme Court cases of Roper v. Simmons and Atkins v. Virginia. Do these decisions indicate a trend? What can you surmise about future challenges to the death penalty, based on the current Court's recent decisions?

Last, summarize the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams:

  • What were his crimes?
  • Why his execution was considered controversial?

After analyzing the case, indicate whether you support the decision to execute Williams and explain your reasoning.

Support your responses with examples.

Cite any sources in APA format.

Tutor Answer

School: Duke University



Trends in Capital Punishment




The death penalty in the United States has been practiced over the past years even though
most recently, most states have developed different policies that limit death penalty. Despite
considerable efforts to control the death penalty across the United States by the different
organization including human rights, some states still have death sentence where convicts are
killed by use of an array of methods. Understanding the trends in capital punishment within the
United States will, therefore, provide a better picture of the real situation and will also help in
determining the efforts that the federal government and other players have put in place regarding
the importance of human life and thus eliminated the capital death penalty.
The governor of Illinois did have valid reasons regarding his decision to stop approving
death warrants. He cited the significant challenges in the system, which prevented the delivery of
justice since the system was significantly skewed. More than 20 cases of individuals on death row
were overturned, which significantly highlighted the major loopholes in the system. Thus, he relied
on this cases that involved death row convictions, which were overturned in the state. The cases
were based on DNA evidence presented by the prosecution (Hood and Hoyle, 2015).
Therefore the inability to determine the truth before convicting someone was a key
consideration in the decision that the governor took regarding his inability to approve the death
warranties. Such cases were many, and thus he thought that there is significant proof that justice
will not be served to all. The volume of overturned ...

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