When is the Death Penalty an Appropriate Punishment Andrew Krotje JUST 101 Types of Crimes • Felony More than a year in jail Includes: murder, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, grand theft • Misdemeanor 12 months or less in jail Includes: simple assault, disorderly conduct, DUI/DWI, domestic violence, theft, trespassing, vandalism • Infraction Usually punishable by fines with no jail time. Breaking local laws or ordinances. i.e. speeding, disposal of garbage, antinoise ordinances • Capital Crimes Serious felonies Ultimate penalty can be placed Life sentences or execution Types of Capital Punishment • Lethal Injection • Gas Chamber Hydrochloric acid flows into a pan behind the chair. Then a quantity of potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide crystals is added into the acid. A few seconds after the inmate takes a breath, their ability to process blood hemoglobin and causes unconsciousness. Within 5-15 minutes they are pronounced dead. If the inmate holds their breath they can cause problems resulting in convulsions. Most common form of Capital Punishment. Intravenous delivery of a deadly quantity of three different drugs. The drugs are (in order of delivery): sodium • Hanging thiopental (causing unconsciousness), A specific amount of force must be applied to pancuronium bromide (paralyzing the the neck in relation to the weight of the lungs and diaphragm), and potassium inmate. Done correctly, dislocation of the chloride (causing fatal cardiac arrest). third or fourth cervical vertebrae will occur. Takes approximately 7 minutes. The noose is placed behind the inmates left • Electrocution ear. Not done correctly, the inmate will strangle to death, die from lack of blood to the brain, or cause decapitation if dropped too far. Direct application of electric current. Between 1,500 to 2,250 volts for 30 seconds to a minute. Followed by • Firing Squad alternating voltages of varying intensities for another minute. A team of five shooters. Some have real bullets while others have blanks. Commonly results in the smell of burning The team aims for a target placed on the heart skin and the possibility of flesh catching on fire. The shooters all fire at the same time. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • States with Most Common form of Capital Punishment: Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Florida Georgia Idaho Indiana Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Mississippi Missouri Montana Nevada New Hampshire North Carolina • • • • • • • • • • • • Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia Washington Wyoming • Federal Types of Capital Punishment(cont.) Conditions of Use • Appropriate Crimes: Murder is the most common cause for the death penalty. Can be for rape or kidnapping depending on circumstances of the crime along with other factors. • Uses: • • • Deterrent • Inhibit criminal behavior through fear of punishment Incapacitation • Reduce the possibility of the criminal to commit another crime ever again. Retribution • Revenge on a criminal perpetrator. • Why it Should Not Be Used: Innocence 311 post-conviction DNA exonerations Wrongful Convictions Eyewitness Misidentification Testimony Unvalidated or Improprer Forensic Science False Confessions and Incriminating Statements Informants Inadequate Legal Representation Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct Perjured Testimony Racial Prejudice Jailhouse “snitch” Testimony Suppression and/or Misinterpretation of Mitigating Evidence Community and/or Political Pressure to Solve a Case Mental Illness Alternative Sentencing Life without Parole Appropriateness of Sentence • Factors: Aggravating Factors: any relevant circumstances, supported by the evidence presented during the trial, that makes the harshest penalty appropriate, in the judgment of the jurors. Mitigating Factors: any evidence presented regarding the defendant’s character or the circumstances of the crime, which would cause a juror to vote for a lesser sentence. • Examples of these factors: The presence or absence of violent criminal activity by the defendant. The presence or absence of any prior felony convictions. If the crime was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disorders. If the victim was a participant in the defendant’s homicidal conduct or if the victim consented to the killing. If the crime was committed under belief of moral justification. If the defendant acted under extreme duress or substantial domination of another person. The age of the defendant at the time of the crime. If the defendant was an accomplice and if their involvement was relatively minor. The Death Penalty Today States with the Death Penalty • Alabama • Louisiana • Arizona • Mississippi • • • • • • • • • • Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Florida Georgia • • • • • • • South Carolina States without the Death Penalty and Year Abolished • Alaska (1957) • North Dakota (1973) • Connecticut (2012) • Rhode Island (1984) • Hawaii (1957) • Vermont (1964) • Illinois (2011) • West Virginia (1965) • Wisconsin (1853) • D.C. (1981) • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Iowa (1965) • Utah • Maine (1887) • Virginia • Maryland (2013) • Washington • Massachusetts (1984) • Wyoming • Michigan (1846)* • Minnesota (1911) • New Jersey (2007) • New Mexico (2009) • New York (2007) Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire North Carolina Idaho • Ohio • Oklahoma Indiana • U.S. Gov’t Kansas • Oregon • Pennsylvania Kentucky • U.S. Military *-First state to abolish the Death Penalty The Death Penalty Today(Cont.) • Most Recent Death Penalty Execution: Jerry Martin (Volunteer) Executed December 3, 2013 Place of Execution: Texas Method Used: Lethal Injection Reason for Sentence: Murder of a correctional officer after escaping prison.