Capital punishment, nowhere in the world could you find a more deeply rooted debate over one subject than with this controversial issue. Many questions have been raised to try analyzing this enormous debate. Here are some of the questions raised. Does the death penalty actually deter crime more effectively that other punishment? Is the death penalty another form of cruel treatment and torture? When someone is giving the sentence of death have his or her human rights been violated? If the death penalty is to be used, what method of execution should be used?
“Over half the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice.” (Amnesty 1) Does this mean that the universal attitude toward the death penalty is shifting toward abolishing this controversial form of punishment? In the global view the answer would more than likely be yes, however, in the U.S. abolitionist have a long ways to go in order to get capital punishment thrown out. “Seven out of ten Americans support the death penalty for a person convicted of murder, even though many of those same people believe America’s minorities and the poor are more likely to receive a death sentence. In a Gallup Poll conducted, 71% of those polled favored capital punishment, while 22% opposed it and 7% had no opinion.” (Gillespie 1) Capital punishment is a position that society will have a tough time coming into full agreement with, no matter what part of the world you are from; the debate is too deeply rooted.
“Has the death penalty been used as a instrument for politicians, particularly for state judges who are elected and not appointed?” Some would say yes, “state judges use capital cases, which are usually highly publicized and allow for the strictest of sentencing to be handed down, to work for their own benefit.” (Danile 1) For state judges the public eye, particular that of news media, would provide them with the advertisement they would need to slingshot themselves into a political run at a representative or senate seat. They could use the public opinion to make not necessarily a mindful decision, but a popular decision, in order to gain the respect and support group necessary for future elections.
“Perhaps some illustrations highlighting state judges’ incapacity to act impartially, as witnessed through their appointments of defense council, would serve to demonstrate the crisis at hand. Would you appoint someone who was a former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan for fifteen years, and who was at the time 83 years old, to represent a black defendant who is facing a death sentence? A Georgia stat judge did. After review by (an appointed) Georgia judge, it was ruled that the attorney abandoned his client, lacked good judgment, and was perhaps senile. In Alabama, a lawyer defending a woman on trial for killing her husband was found to be drunk at the trial and was held in contempt and jailed. However, he was not removed from the case. When the trial resumed the following day, both the client and the lawyer came out of the cellblock. As if this were not bad enough, this same attorney failed to present key evidence in the woman’s defense, hospital records indicating that her husband was battering her. The women remains on death row today.” (Danile 2) Such political influence will have a negative impact on the lives of people depending on the criminal justice system. These cases where here in the U.S., cases abroad, in countries like Iraq, Iran and even China may in fact be even more disturbing. Political positions will drive the decisions of judge anywhere in the world, but the corruption in these other countries may go unseen for years, or may never be uncovered.
The people of Walla Walla, Washington felt “Grim reminders,” of the inhuman acts that capital punishment can bring into a community. “In 1993, a media circus moved its heavy equipment into the area to cover every detail of the gruesome hanging of Westley Dodd. The state of Washington had not staged a legal hanging for thirty years, so more than a hundred reporters turned out for the occasion. After the announcement, at 12:15 a.m. on January 5, that the execution was over and Dodd was