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					Capital Punishment
 Kaitlin Holl, Simon Loos, Mia
  Neagle, Alex Bull, & Alyssa
Ethical Questions

•How do we set up a structure that
 applies punishment appropriately to
•How do we determine which crimes
 are unforgivable?
•How do we know what method, if any,
 is humane when taking another
 human life?
Method             # of executions by method       # of states authorizing
                   since 1776                              method

Lethal Injection   878                         37* states + U.S. Military and U.S.

Electrocution      153                         10 states

Gas Chamber        11                          5 states

Hanging            3                           2 states

Firing Squad       2                           2* states
• The first death penalties occurred in the Eighteenth
  Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon.
  These Penalties resulted in the death penalty for 25
  different crimes.
• Britain influenced the US in adopting the death penalty
  custom. Europeans brought over the ideal of capital
• Captain George Kendall was the first person in America to
  be executed; for being a spy in Spain.
• Death penalty used to be applied to “petty crimes” such as
  stealing grapes and chickens. Crimes which today would
  never be resulted in death.
Crimesà Capital Punishment
• Crimes punishable by death penalty:
   –   First degree murder
   –   Capital Murder
   –   Treason
   –   Aggravated kidnapping
Retentionist Countries
•   Afghanistan
•   China
•   India
•   Iran
•   Iraq
•   Kuwait
•   Japan
•   Pakistan
•   Philippines
•   Saudi Arabia
•   United States
Abolitionist Countries
•   Australia
•   Canada
•   France
•   Germany
•   Ireland
•   Netherlands
•   New Zealand
•   Spain
•   Sweden
•   Vatican City State
      Catholic Teachings
 “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that
  the dignity of human life must never be taken
away, even in the case of someone who has done
    great evil…I renew the appeal I made most
 recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the
       death penalty, which is both cruel and
         unnecessary” –Pope John Paul II
        The Exception
 If non-lethal means aren’t sufficient to defend and
    protect people’s safety from the aggressor, the
          Catholic Church allows the penalty.
 Latest Developments:
 Lethal Injection on Trial
• A district judge in California is set to decide if the state's use of
   lethal injection is cruel and unusual and therefore a violation of the
   8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

• Prosecution argues    : California’s three-drug is not always
   effective, and human error by those administering the drugs can
   cause pain.

• Defense argues:      there is no evidence that there are problems with
   the protocol or that inmates suffer.

• Significance: Outcome of this hearing effects the 37 states that
   use lethal injection
Con Arguments
• Standards of developed        • Only continues violence,
  society need more mature        doesn’t stop murders

  response to murder than       • Most people on death row

                       are not killed, only those who
• Emotional impulse not           are not able to defend
  enough reason for capital       themselves as well as the
  punishment because of the       others

  many other problems caused    • “Vengeance is a strong and
  by it
                          natural emotion. But it has
Society teaches us to have     no place in our justice
  complete respect for all        system.” - Bud Welch

Pro Arguments
• “An eye for an eye”

        • Supreme Court dismissed use
                                   of statistical studies claiming
• Society surrenders to            racial bias as only reason for
  violence if balance is not       overturning death sentence

  restored by killing          •   Some systematic issues should

                       not cause the death penalty
                                   system to be abandoned

• Closure to crime for

                     •   “For justice to prevail, some
                                   killers just need to die” - Robert
• Penalty applied to worst         Macy, District Attorney of
  crimes so the offenders          Oklahoma City
  deserve the worst

l   "Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty." Death Penalty
    Information Center. 2006. 5 Oct 2006
l   "A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty." Social
    Development and World Peace. United States Conference of Catholic
    Bishops. 5 Oct 2006
l   Overberg, S.J., Kenneth R. . "The Death Penalty:Why the Church
    Speaks a Countercultural Message." 5 Oct 2006
l   Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment 1996 Bulletin, Table
    2 (Dec. 1997); updated by DPIC
l   Michigan State, University. "Death Penalty Information Center."
    History Of Execution. 2004. Michigan State University. 6 Oct 2006
l   "Death Penaly." Almanac of Policy Issues. 6-1-01. Almanac of Policy
    Issues. 6 Oct 2006

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