The Freedom to LiveIn the documentary “Into the Abyss”, it tells the story of Michael James Perry and Jason Burkett who were involved in a homicide of three innocent people. On October 24, 2001, Perry and Burkett parked down the street of Sandra’s Stotler’s houses. They knew Mrs. Stotler was very wealthy and their plan was to steal two cars. Once they reached Mrs. Stotler’s home, Burkett knocked on the front door of her house while Perry entered through the garage.
Burkett asked if he may borrow Mrs. Stotler phone, while Perry hid in the laundry room with a gun. Perry knocked in the back door of the laundry room and when Mrs. Stotler came Perry shot her multiple times.
They grabbed some blankets to cover her body and they put her body in the back of Burkett’s truck. They disposed of her body at Crater Lake, Texas. That same night they killed Adam Stotler, Mrs. Stotler son and his friend Jeremy Richardson. On October 27, cops found Mrs. Stotler’s body around 4:30 p.m.
A couple weeks later Perry and Burkett were charged with the murder of Sandra Stotler, Adam Stotler, and Jeremy Richardson. The death penalty has been around since 1976. In 1999, the number of executions took a turn reaching the highest number of deaths.In the article Race of victim in the death penalty cases of July 19, 2011 it states that over 76% of the victims were white (“Race of victim in the death penalty cases of July 19, 2011”).
On the contrary in the article Facts about the Death Penalty, it stated that 56% of the murderers were white. Out of 50 states, only 18 states have outlawed the death penalty (“Facts about the Death Penalty”). Many people ask themselves if the death penalty is the right way to handle horrible crimes. Is the death penalty humane? Who gives us the right to take another human being life away? The number of executions has been decreasing throughout years. The two main causes for the death penalty are the history, and in effective counsel, and the significant effects are the cost and people can be innocent. Do you ever wonder how the death penalty started? The first established death penalty law was dated far back in the eighteen-century B.C. the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes.
This historical practice was also part of the fourteenth century B.C.’s Hittite Code, the seventh century B.C.’s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes people made, and the fifth century B.
C.’s Roman law of the Twelve Tablets (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). Just because something worked in the past does not mean it still works today. The death penalty meant to punish someone by drowning, beating to death or burning someone while they are still alive and crucifying them (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). Many people believed that striking one’s mother or father or denying the “true god” were punishable by death. Britain had the greatest influence over America and convinced them to use the death penalty.”However, in the early 1960’s, Americans suggested that the death penalty was a cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment” (Introduction to the Death Penalty).
Two of the most talented people in the world named Dr. Benjamin Rush and Cesare Becaaria influenced America to attempt the death penalty in the U.S. Between the years 1823 and 1837, the death penalty eliminated over 100 of the 222 crimes punishable by death around the world (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”). During the Civil War, the death penalty wanted attention and was given to the anti-slavery movement.
After the war was over, New York built the electric chair around the year 1888. In the year 1890, William Kemmler was executed by this method and other states soon adopted it. Then in 1924, the use of cyanide gas came along, and Gee Jon was the first person who was executed by lethal gas. Over history, many things developed and changed, but it is important to understand who invented these punishments and how it all started in history.Most often, when a person goes to jail with the possibility of the death penalty, he wants a lawyer that is able to communicate wisely to the jury if the person is innocent or is not innocent. Unfortunately, in most cases, a lawyer can have the lack of resources, time, and skills that often render much capital counsel’s ineffective (“Effective Counsel”). However, there has been numerous cases that have been denied and often result in a sentence of death.
Therefore, in the case of Maples V. Thomas, many states like Alabama the defendant has the right to file a timely appeal in the state court. They could also bar all subsequent federal court to review someone’s death sentence and adverse decision from the state courts if the lawyers returned the decision unopened. Maple’s lawyer rejected his initial state court appeal that was mailed to the lawyers that were helping and was unopened.
They lawyers just left the law firm where they all worked, Maple’s was sent to the death sentence. Later on the state officials never made an effort to contact his lawyers or notify him directly about Maple. “Before this, the court gave a question to the lawyers whether Maples should be executed without any federal court review because of a missed filing deadline that was not his fault” (Effective Counsel). Capital cases are not easy they are emotionally and financially draining cases for most of the people that are sent to the death sentence. There needs to be more lawyers that are able to have a lot of knowledge and navigate the federal and state procedures of the governing capital cases. It also takes hours to prepare and extensive resources for a case.
“Most defendants cannot afford an attorney they would have to rely on the state to provide them with a representation for his/her case” (Effective Counsel). Several states provide adequate funds for the defendant for a lawyer for the job to investigate a case. Therefore, capital defendants are represented by inexperienced or overworked and many cases, in different states, are incompetent lawyers.Every cause in a situation has an effect; it can be based on emotional effects, physical, or social effects. Not only does the death penalty affect the circle of people involved with in the case, but it also affects all taxpayers. Serious effects to the death penalty are the millions of dollars used towards those cases.
So, whose money goes towards the death penalty? Taxpayers; most taxpayers are not aware that their money is going towards the death row. In the article Take a hard look at the real cost of the death penalty “We discovered that the most expensive, most time-consuming, and least cost effective service we provide was in death penalty cases” (Jan Pudlow). For example Florida spends $51 million a year on the death penalty, than on life in prison. Different tactics can be used instead of this execution process, like sentencing life in prison. Why have money put in towards a process of homicide rather than purposeful reasons. For instance every single penny being built up for those cases can be used for education resources, health treatments and more.
Why kill someone for conviction of first-degree murder, would that make you a murderer too? In the other hand, what if the convict is actually innocent? They cannot bring them back to life. That is another reason why other punishments can be more effective. Debra Milke was accused of killing her four- year-old son. She was sentenced death row. 25 years later, they found enough evidence to drop her charges (“Debra Milke, who spent 22 years on Arizona death row, has murder case tossed”).
In several cases the criminal has been found innocent either before the execution, unfortunately for some cases it is too late. Risking someone’s life because the evidence proves him or her guilty is not the way to justice.Mentally ill felons should be exempt from the death row. They are the true victims; the real delinquents are the illnesses inside their head. That does not mean they should be discharged from all punishment. They still committed a crime so there should be justice.
“The death penalty is not the answer to the problem of violence committed by persons with severe mental illness”.” This is not to suggest that crimes committed by mentally impaired people are to be condoned or excused” (“People with Mental Illness Should Be Exempt from the Death Penalty”). The death row is not a way to peace of mind.
It is like fighting fire with fire.There are many preventative measures that can be taken instead of giving someone the death penalty. In the article titled “People with Mental Illness Should Be Exempt from the Death Penalty”, the quote that Susannah Sheffer said really caught reader’s attention she quotes in her own words “The death penalty is not the answer to the problem of violence committed by persons with severe mental illness.
” With this quotes she got to many people’s attention and by her point of view she saw many people began to wonder if the death penalty was really necessary. Many people need immediate attention no one knows how serious someone’s mental illness is, and not only that but people out there in the world are thinking mental illness are not serious until that person sees what it leads to ignore such a small detail. In the very same article the author has a section that talks about how “Sentencing the Mentally Ill to Death Does Not Provide Peace of Mind. The author interviews a well grown up women, and this is what she had to say about how the person who murdered her husband had death penalty, with mental illness and how she felt after.
In her words “I wish people who were ignorant (I was before this happened) would understand that mental illness; people do not (commit crimes) because they want to. When people are not able to get the treatment or the services that they need, they can become violent. What good is it going to do to kill someone who is not really responsible for the death? Some people do not understand why I see it this way. They say, “Well, they still did it.” Yes, they did it, but they were ill. That is what did it, the illness, so if we combat the illness, and educate the public, then we will be able to help someone instead of killing them.
To Lisa the point she is trying to get at is that the death penalty does NOT reduce illness or violence. Another great solution to the gruesome death penalty would be not to give it at all. This might sound a little confusing. A really good example of a misuse of justice would be that of Jodi Arias. For the people out there that have no clue who she is she is a murder she murdered her boyfriend over jealousy she killed him in vain she had no mercy it has been a very shocking case in the city of Phoenix, AZ. Jodi was put on death row but was taken off because the judge said she had a mental illness and was sentenced to life instead.
Now one may take a moment and think ok well if they give her life in prison for a murder and was taken out of death penalty for mental illness, Why haven’t they done that to many other mentally ill people out there?, Most of all it cost more to give someone the death sentence instead of life sentence. Why not use that money you would use to killsomeone for a greater cause for example, Donate money to an orphanage or even towards a bright student’s school future. This also brings me back to the movie “Into the Abyss” It was surprising to see the case in the movie involved of a homicide of 3 people, and there was two guilty but no one understands why they put one for death penalty and the other for 40-year sentence if they were bothas responsible for the murders.
To this conclusion has some skeptical people thinking it is not fair. In many statistics, it shows many different parts of the death sentence for example the financial cost. In many places, the death row cost very differently. In the article “Death Penalty Information Center” in the section financial facts about the death penalty it gives a whole new perspective on what valuable money is being wasted on something that to some is inhumane and to others is. For example a new study in California revealed that the cost of the penalty in the state has been over $4 billion since 1978, In North Carolina it costs $2.16 million per execution, The most outstanding cost would be in Florida it costs $51 million per execution. Ask yourself this question who are we to decide who dies and who lives?Jason Burkett was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. On the contrary, Perry was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
Jason got a lighter sentence because he told the truth when the cops showed up and arrested him, while Perry still wanted to play the innocent card. On July 1, 2010, Perry was executed by lethal injection. His last statement was “I wanted to let everyone here know that you are forgiven by me, I love you mom, I’m coming home dad, I’m coming home”. Around 6:17 p.m.
, Perry died nine minutes after the injection. Many people commit crimes but is it right to take away their life. The person does not suffer and are given the easy way out. There are many people who are on death row but one never knows if the person is innocent.
Works Cited”Debra Milke, who spent 22 years on Arizona death row, has murder case tossed.” CNN Wire 24 Mar. 2015.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 26 Mar.
2015.Dieter. Richard C. “Sentencing for Life: Americans Embrace Alternatives to the Death Penalty”.Deathpenaly.
org. April 1993. Web. 25 March 2015.”Effective Counsel.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.D.
Web. 25 March 2015.”Facts about the Death Penalty”. deathpenalty.org. 21 March 2015.
Web. 25 March 2015.”Introduction to the Death Penalty”. deathpenalty.org. Web.
25 March 2015Pudlow, Jan. “Take a hard look at the real cost of the death penalty.” Florida Bar News 1 Mar. 2010: 1+. Academic OneFile. Web.
25 Mar. 2015.”Race of victim in death penalty cases as of July 19, 2011.” Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual? Kim Masters Evans.
2012 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.Sheffer, Susannah.
“People with Mental Illness Should Be Exempt from the Death Penalty.” TheDeath Penalty. Ed. Jenny Cromie and Lynn M. Zott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints.
Rpt. from “The Death Penalty: The Wrong Direction.” www.mvfhr.
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