Law Essay Example: Punishment and Sentencing

Published: 2020-08-13
Law Essay Example: Punishment and Sentencing
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Penal system Punishment
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 701 words
6 min read

The first argument by the article is that, lethal injection is thought not to violate the eighth amendments prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment; therefore it was permissible by US court of laws. Murder convicts could be beheaded through lethal injection other than the usual electrocution and hanging that were regarded as cruel and unusual.

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Secondly, the chapter argues that there was racial segregation between the Afro-American and the American sentences and punishment. The African-American murderers were convicted to death more than their white counterpart especially when they had killed an American native. They were not offered competent state counsel to represent them adequately in the courts as the Americans.

The fourth argument by the chapter is that the juries rather than the judge were to make a factual decision regarding whether a convicted murderer should receive a death sentence or not. The jury was to deliberate critically on the mitigation of the convicted person and make an informed decision whether the ruling warranted a capital punishment.

The fifth important argument is that death punishment was seen as a cruel and unusual punishment to the criminals. Most convicts especially the blacks were not given fair judgment and were subject to the hangman wrath. They even executed insane prisoners that were unconstitutional.

An important observation is that the courts also prohibited the execution of juvenile murderers. Children below the age of sixteen years at the time of committing the crime were considered minors and cannot make sound decisions due to age. The execution of juvenile convicts was unconstitutional .


The article gives a general overview of the capital punishment in the society. It looks more on history and legal provisions about the issue. It ignores other issues that affect the decision on whether people are likely to support capital punishment or not. There exist international laws as well as religious stand on the issue. The values that the society in US has are also an important factor. As such, the chapter should have considered this since it would make it possible to make a more informed decision. An interested individual would do further research to understand how these other factors influence the decision on whether capital punishment should be embraced on not.


From the article the big question is, Do you believe that capital punishment is applied fairly or unfairly"? I believe that the punishment is applied in unfair way considering the racial discrimination that exists up to date.


I strongly oppose the death especially when an unfair ruling is made due to malice or on racial inclinations. Sentencing minor offenses and drug addicts will congest the American prisons. On the other hand, an intentional murderer should face the get an equal price. Death penalty prevents the murders from committing further crime when on parole.


I would choose an indeterminate scheme because this could allow the convicts to have time to meditate over their lives and they could act as living testimonies. The indeterminate system allows convicts to re-correct on the evil doing they committed and them time to repent.


Elimination of death sentence appeals to speed execution of death penalties convicts is not possible because constitutionally all victims have a right to free and fair judgment. They should be executed after there is a perfect determination by the jury.


The three strike laws led to a reduction in capital crimes in the United States and increased the number of court cases and an influx in the US prisons. Many people were convicted of petty crimes subjecting them to several years of jail term. The law accomplished its mission but faced several criticisms. Overcrowding in the cells will lead to the prisoners breaking out and eventually more hardened criminals.


A death sentence is not the only fair punishment for the minor convicts and drug addicts. Proper medication and rehabilitation can reclaim these lost individual and bring them back into the normal life. It saves the government enormous amount of tax-payers money for maintaining the prisons and prisoners. Killing all the prisoners to reduce government spending and congestion is a real solution to the great inmates problems. On the contrary, it is an inhuman act as well as unconstitutional therefore not permissible.

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