The death penalty has always been a controversial practice. Debate on the issue is not a new phenomenon. There are many vantage points associated with the legalities and debate. The Supreme Court has ruled that death as a punishment is different from other punishments. The legal issues associated with the death penalty include, but are not limited to, execution of the mentally ill, effective assistance of counsel, death qualification of juries, appeals, the impact on international law, and execution methods. The debate is also impacted by sentencing philosophy.
In this discussion, different dimensions of the death penalty will be explored.
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In your initial discussion post:
- Explain why there is support for the death penalty in the United States, when it has been abolished in other Western democracies.
- Analyze two alternatives to death that could achieve the retributive, deterrent, and incapacitative goals of capital punishment.
- Predict what the future holds for the death penalty, from a criminal justice practitioner perspective.