The death penalty is a contradiction of the constitution - Assignment Example

According to the affirmitive team, the death penalty is a contradiction of the constitution. In their plan they stated that they would like to enforce the 8th amendment, which states, “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. ” In the case of Furman Vs. Georgia, the Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that capital punishment, as it was imposed, violated this amendment. The court held that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment because it was not applied fairly and uniformly. Many states then adopted new laws designed to meet the court’s objections.

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The court has ruled that the death penalty may be imposed if certain standards are applied to guard against its arbitrary use. Note that the court held capital punishment as cruel and unusual because of how it was applied, not because of the physical nature. As states passed laws designed to meet the court’s objections, the court changed its ruling so that the death penalty may be imposed if certain standards are upheld. Therefore, enforcing the 8th amendment, as the affirmitive states in their plan, would be enforcing modern capital punishment. High standards in capital cases are continually upheld, as statistics prove.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, imposition of the death penalty is extraordinarily rare. Since 1967, there has been one execution for every 16 hundred murders, or 0. 06%. There have been approximately 560 thousand murders and only 358 executions from 1967 to 1996. The affirmitive states that they would like to abolish the 5th amendment, which states “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

So may I ask the affirmitive-“In the plan of your case outline, you stated the fact that you would abolish the 5th amendment. Does abolishing the right of a person to due process of law and protection from accusations, in other words “innocent until indicted by a grand jury” really accomplish your theories. I believe that that idea should be greatly reflected upon on your part. Another main point in the Affirmitive team’s plan was the manufacturing of baskets or boxes by prison inmates until a certain “debt” has been paid off.

Then they shall, according to the affirmitive’s case outline, continue to make items to pay off the government. The first thought that came to my mind, and possibly many others was “how many boxes is your life worth? ” Although we cannot debate on opinions and morals, there are many debatable issues in this attempt of a plan. First, the average unemployment rate in the United States is 5. 3% according to the labor market reporter. The current population of the U. S. is 275 million according to the census bureau taken every ten years. Therefore, 14. 5 million people in the U. S. are unemployed, many on welfare.

The manufacturing of raw goods by prison inmates would definitely have an inflating effect on the current unemployment rate. Then you may ask, “why should prison inmates aquire these jobs when there is such a high unemployment rate already. This idea will just aggrivate the situation. ” These are just raw statistics, not taking into consideration the mental and physical standing of these inmates. Many may require the highest security of imprisonment. Then may I ask what the affirmatives plan for these inmates would be?

Although the affirmitive stated in their case outline that no courts or judges, under any circumstances, shall appoint the death penalty, they failed to explain how they will go about making their law constitutional. According to the bill of rights, namely the 5th and 8th amendments, capital punishment, under due process of law and upheld high standards, is fully constitutional. I would like to know how they would go about changing the amendments of the United States constitution, which was written by our forefathers and has been upheld for centuries.

According to the Supreme Court of the U. S. , capital punishment is constitutional when used as a sentence for a proven crime. In stating advantages in their case outline, the Affirmative developed four main points, none in which I see as un-debatable. First, the affirmative continues to insist that a multitude of money will be saved by life without parole sentencing instead of the death penalty. According to the- Justice for All -bureau of investigation, the cost of a cell for a life w/out parole inmate is roughly 34. 2 thousand dollars a year.

This is not taking into consideration the fact that a maximum security cell- quite possibly necessary in these cases- is about 75 thousand dollars per year. The average time spent in prison of a life w/out parole inmate is roughly 50 years. About 75 thousand dollars is spent for trial and appeals, and a 2 % inflation rate is factored in. If you do the math, that totals about 3. 01 million dollars. The cost of a death penalty case, At about 60 thousand dollars per year for a cell, an average of 6 years in prison before the death penalty is administered, $1. 5 million dollars for trial and appeals, and a 2% inflation rate factored in totals $1. 8 million dollars.

This is noticibly less than the cost of life w/out parole. Although the Death Penalty is more costly up front, in the long run the cost of life w/out parole greatly outweighs the cost of the death penalty. The second advantage stated by the Affirmative claims that Innocent people will not be wrongfully killed. Naturally, my first thoughts went out to the innocent victims of criminals. But in a debate of statistics and facts, they cannot be considered. Only 23 people have been executed since 1900 that were considered innocent, although 12 of these cases have no actual evidence of innocence.

The remaining 11 cases represent 0. 14% of 7,800 executions since 1900. Also debatable on this topic is the new fronts of technology. Genetic testing, for such things as DNA and ferenzic sciences, have greatly decreased the risk of an innocent person being convicted, although only 0. 14% of all capital punishment in the last 101 years have possibly been innocent people. The third advantage stated by the affirmative claims that sickly offenders called volunteers will not want to kill and harm others simply to accomplish their own death.

I researched this topic and did not find a thing on this topic, which suggests to me that is a case of coincidences. Thousands of people are murdered yearly, for many different motives, sometimes no motive at all. Although the motive plays a great part in the case, it hardly plays a role in the sentencing, unless from insanity pleas and or self defense pleas. In these cases the defendant may be rewarded the insanity plea or actions of self defense. The removal of the death penalty will not deter the murders by these people, as it will not deter the murders of many other motives.

This few number of people are not even relevant in the debate of the death penalty, no more than the argument that the removal of the prison systems will deter crime because then the offenders would not be able to get into prison, like they wanted. The affirmatives final statement in the advantages of their case outline states that Americans will no longer look upon death so cheaply. This is a pure issue of morals, and is not relevant to the debate. How can a factual conclusion be made that Americans look upon life cheaply. That is a simply a judgment made on the part of the affirmative.

Plus, how do they explain thousands of murders yearly if life is not looked upon somewhat cheaply. I believe that this is an irrelevant issue. In conclusion, the Death Penalty is clearly constitutional and is less costly in the long run than life without parole. The affirmative team’s plans are clearly faulty and not well thought out. The manufacturing of objects for revenue, whether personal of for the government is unheard of, not to mention bad for the economy. They did not clearly state their plan and procedures for passing such a law as they plan on, and several of their issues are irrelevant.