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The Death Penalty 8 th Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

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Presentation on theme: "The Death Penalty 8 th Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Death Penalty 8 th Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

2 The Death Penalty of Old Public punishment necessary deterrent. The more painful the more likely souls could be “cleansed” for heaven. Also, great entertainment for the public.

3 Death Penalty for the Founders. Most Founders did favor the death penalty – BUT did not like torture killings. Death penalty used only for capital crimes. Death penalty purpose to quickly end life. “Mere extinguishment of life.”

4 Death Penalty in USA Until 1967, death penalty used for murder, rape, theft. Fuhrman v. Georgia (1972) put a moratorium on executions. – Only to be used for capital crimes. – No “capricious” use.

5 Moratorium on executions until 1976 More than 600 death row inmates had their sentences changed between 1972 – 1976. Mandatory death sentences ONLY with aggravating circumstances.

6 Statistics on the Death Penalty in the US In 2007 - 42 inmates were executed in the country. – Down 11 from 2006.

7 Methods of Execution in 2007 Lethal injection – Electrocution – Gas chamber – Hanging – Firing squad –

8 States Methods Lethal injection – 46 states Electrocution – 1 state Gas Chamber – 5 states* Hanging – 2 states* Firing squad – 2 states* – *Alternative methods of lethal injection.


10 Number of executions by state since 1976 Texas – 245 Virginia – 82 Florida – 51 Missouri – 49 Oklahoma – 40 Louisiana – 26 Nebraska - 3

11 2007 Statistics 41 whites 19 blacks 1 woman – All Lethal Injection


13 Interesting statistics on the US system as of end of 2007. 3,263 prisoners under sentence of death. – California has the most on death row – 669 – Florida – 388 – Texas – 370 NEBRASKA - 10

14 Prisoners By Race 1,805 were white -- 1,372 were black -- 31 were American Indian -- 34 were Asian -- 12 were of unknown race.

15 Death Row Statistics 112 women were under a sentence of death at yearend 2007.

16 Death Row Statistics Among inmates under sentence of death and with available criminal histories at yearend 2007: -- nearly 2 in 3 had a prior felony conviction -- 1 in 12 had a prior homicide conviction.

17 Death Row Statistics the average age at time of arrest was 28; 1 in 9 inmates were age 19 or younger at the time of arrest. At yearend 2007, the youngest inmate under sentence of death was 17; the oldest was 90.

18 Currently: 2008 – Moratoriums on Executions Not only Nebraska – other states are rethinking the death penalty. – Is it “cruel and unusual”?

19 International Statistics During 2005, at least 2,148 people were executed in 22 countries and at least 5.186 people were sentenced to death in 53 countries. These were only minimum figures; the true figures were certainly higher. In 2005, 94 per cent of all known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.

20 International Statistics 129 countries which have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.  68 other countries and territories retain and use the death penalty,

21 International Statistics 1,770 people were executed in China although the true figures were believed to be much higher. A Chinese legal expert was recently quoted as stating the figure for executions is approximately 8,000 based on information from local officials and judges, official national statistics on the application of the death penalty remained classified as a state secret

22 International Statistics Iran executed at least 265 people Saudi Arabia at least 153 men and 3 women North Korea – estimated deaths over 100.

23 International Statistics Beheading (in Saudi Arabia, Iraq) - Electrocution (in USA) - Hanging (in Egypt, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, Singapore and other countries) - Lethal injection (in China, Guatemala, Philippines, Thailand, USA) - Shooting (in Belarus, China, Somalia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and other countries) - Stoning (in Afghanistan, Iran)

24 States that use lethal injection Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee, N. Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, US Military

25 States that use Electrocution Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia By 2003 - ONLY Nebraska uses the electric chair. – 2008 – Supreme Court rules in is Unconstitutional!

26 States that use hanging Delaware, New Hampshire, Washington.

27 States that use firing squads Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah

28 States that use lethal gas Arizona, California, Maryland, Missouri, Wyoming.

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