More Victims Rights And Harsher Penalties For Certain Crimes
- An agenda to restore the publics safety:
- No-frills prisons that make the threat of jail a deterrent to crime.
- Increased penalties and resources to new drugs such as Ecstasy.
- An effective program of rehabilitation, where appropriate.
- Support of community-based diversion programs for first time, non-violent offenders.
- Reform the invented Exclusionary Rule, which has allowed countless criminals to get off on technicalities.
- Constitutional amendment to protect victims rights.
The History Of The Federal Death Penalty
Compared to executions carried out by states, the federal death penalty has been used rarely. Since 1927, when the Bureau of Prisons started keeping records, 37 federal executions have occurred. The 1930s saw the most U.S. executions in any 10-year period, with a total of nine.
In 1994, to clarify when federal capital punishment should be used, Congress deemed high-profile crimes such as espionage, treason and political assassinations as deserving of that sentence, according to the Federal Death Penalty Act.
On June 11, 2001, the U.S. government executed Timothy McVeigh for the role he played in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people, including 19 children. His was the first federal execution since 1963.
Nearly two years later, on March 18, 2003, the federal government lethally injected Gulf War veteran Louis Jones, Jr. He had confessed to kidnapping Tracie Joy McBride, 19, at an Air Force base in Texas before he raped and killed her. He argued in his defense that exposure to nerve gas during the Gulf War had led to his killing McBride.
And until the five men named on Thursday are put to death, Jones stands as the last execution performed by the federal government.
Republican Views On Death Penalty
About 81 percent of Republicans favor the death penalty, making up a majority of Americans who support the practice. Republican supporters often argue that capital punishment deters murder because no one wants to face the consequence of death, an assertion the American Civil Liberties Union reports is not based on fact. Although some question the morality of sentencing a human to death, those in favor of the death penalty argue the punishment is morally acceptable for certain crimes, such as rape or murder.
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Death Penalty Decree Could Be Quandary For Us Politicians
MINNEAPOLIS Pope Francis decree that the death penalty is inadmissible in all cases could pose a dilemma for Roman Catholic politicians and judges in the United States who are faced with whether to strictly follow the tenets of their faith or the rule of law.
Some Catholic leaders in death penalty states have said theyll continue to support capital punishment. But experts say Francis change could shift political debates, loom over Supreme Court confirmation hearings, and make it difficult for devout Catholic judges to uphold the law as written.
The question of whether or not Catholic political and judicial leaders would be sinning if they continue to support the death penalty is up for interpretation.
Its going to be a matter of conscience, said the Rev. Peter Clark, director of the Institute of Clinical Bioethics at St. Josephs University in Philadelphia. Judges may have to recuse themselves from many cases, if they truly think its in conflict with their conscience.
As with abortion, many Catholic political leaders and judges have been grappling with the death penalty for some time.
Previous church teachings said capital punishment was allowed in some cases if it was the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. That gave politicians a way to honor their faith and the law.
If we say we are for dignity of all life, that includes innocent and guilty as well, she told The Associated Press.
Why Does The Republican Party Support The Death Penalty And Oppose Abortion The Reason Is Economics Not Ethics
The recent experience with the novel coronavirus and the economic effects of the shutdown gives us all an opportunity to calculate how much the pro-life party values life. Approximately 30 million Americans lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The shutdown if continued through the phased reopening without being rushed will save perhaps 1 million American lives. It follows that to the politicians who wished to end the shutdown in the early summer, one life to them is worth not more than about 30 jobs. It also explains the Republican fascination with the death penalty. If the average death penalty case costs about $100,000 to try, which we can evaluate as equal to roughly 2 jobs for a year, but if only one out of every 40 people convicted of a death penalty crime is actually executed, then each execution produces roughly 80 jobs, a very decent return on investment from this coldly capitalist point of view.
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Death Penalty Opponents Gain Unlikely Allies: Republicans
No one would ever question Dave Danielsons credentials as a Republican. As a 17-year-old in his home state of New Hampshire, he led a local group of teenage Barry Goldwater supporters in 1964 and went on to vote for every Republican presidential candidate since.
He also shared the GOPs support for the death penalty. But seven years ago, after winning election to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Danielson re-examined that stance after a friend asked how he could reconcile state-authorized executions with his deeply ingrained belief in the sanctity of life. It was a dichotomy hed never pondered, he recalled.
I had never considered that conflict until he brought it up, Danielson said.
After days of soul searching, he reversed course. I just said I could not support the death penalty, Danielson, 72, a retired marketing manager from Bedford, New Hampshire, recalled recently. I came from one side of the coin to another.
In decades past, the notion of a conservative Republican opposing the death penalty seemed largely counterintuitive. But a growing number of elected Republicans are now breaking with partisan orthodoxy to not only oppose the death penalty but also help lead efforts to repeal it in more than a half-dozen states, often in conflict with leaders and colleagues in their own party.
Newsom acted even though voters in California twice rejected a death penalty repeal, in 2012 and in 2016.
Differences By Race And Ethnicity Education Over Whether There Are Racial Disparities In Death Penalty Sentencing
There are substantial demographic differences in views of whether death sentencing is applied fairly across racial groups. While 85% of Black adults say Black people are more likely than White people to be sentenced to death for committing similar crimes, a narrower majority of Hispanic adults and about half of White adults say the same. People with four-year college degrees also are more likely than those who have not completed college to say that Black people and White people are treated differently when it comes to the death penalty.
About eight-in-ten Democrats , including fully 94% of liberal Democrats and three-quarters of conservative and moderate Democrats, say Black people are more likely than White people to be sentenced to death for committing the same type of crime a view shared by just 25% of Republicans .
Across educational and racial or ethnic groups, majorities say that the death penalty does not deter serious crimes, although there are differences in how widely this view is held. About seven-in-ten of those with college degrees say this, as do about six-in-ten of those without college degrees. About seven-in-ten Black adults and narrower majorities of White and Hispanic adults say the same. Asian American adults are more divided, with half saying the death penalty deters serious crimes and a similar share saying it does not.
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Demographic Trends May Lead To Further Erosion In Death Penalty Support
Changes in the U.S. population appear to be a factor in declining death penalty support in recent years. Groups that are constituting a greater share of the U.S. adult population over time including millennials and Generation Z, non-White adults and college graduates all show below-average support for the death penalty.
Over the past four years, an average of 45% of those in Generation Z have favored the death penalty, as have 51% of millennials . That compares with 57% of those in Generation X, 59% of baby boomers and 62% of those born before 1946.
Forty-six percent of non-White Americans, versus 61% of Non-Hispanic White Americans, support the death penalty.
- Among college graduates, 46% favor the death penalty, compared with 60% of those without a college degree.
To be sure, demographic change does not account for all of the attitudinal shift toward the death penalty, as older generations, White adults and college nongraduates are all less supportive of the death penalty now than they were in 2016.
The Death Penalty Public Opinion And Politics
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty, according to data from the Death Penalty Information Center. In 2018, states executed 25 people a record low. A year earlier, the state of Arkansas stirred national outrage when the state announced plans to put eight men to death in less than two weeks around the Easter holidays.
Thats down from 98 executions that took place in 1999, a time when 78 percent of Americans said they supported the death penalty. Since then, support has waned.
According to Pew Research Center, 54 percent of U.S. adults said they backed the death penalty in 2018,and partisanship quickly emerges when you look at numbers, said Jocelyn Kiley, Pews associate director for U.S. politics.
Parties are much more divided over this question than they historically were, she said.
In 2018, a clear majority of Republicans 77 percent said they favored the death penalty, while 35 percent of Democrats said they supported capital punishment, Kiley said.
And white Americans were more likely to say they support the death penalty than African American or Latino respondents, Pews polling data suggested.
A few years earlier, in 2015, 49 percent of Americans said they supported the death penalty, according to Pew polling data.
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A Broken System: The Conservatives Against The Death Penalty
A group is challenging the practice on traditional rightwing principles: small government, low taxes, sanctity of human life
In the exhibition hall at the conservative grassroots annual lovefest, CPAC, the usual range of freedom-touting, gun-toting, climate change-denying, liberal-bashing views were on display.
The National Rifle Association loomed large, as did stalls promoting hunting and fishing, biblical fundamentalism and, quizzically, domestic uranium. On Saturday, Donald Trump showed up to deliver perhaps his most extreme speech yet, a freewheeling, two-hour, avowedly off-script hard-right screed.
But one exhibition booth at the CPAC hub in National Harbor, Maryland, had a far less predictable message. A large banner over the stall proclaimed: Questioning a broken system marked by inefficiency, inequity and inaccuracy.
The broken system being denounced was not socialism, gun control or the other targets modern Republicans love to hate. It was the death penalty.
The booth was covered in posters opposing capital punishment in the words of prominent Republicans. Jay Sekulow, Donald Trumps lawyer on the Russia collusion inquiry, was quoted in big letters: Conservatives should question how the death penalty actually works in order to stay true to small government.
I have a Republican and Southern Baptist background and everyone I know supported the death penalty, she said.
Who Supports The Death Penalty
Since 1936, Gallup has been asking Americans, “Are you in favorof the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?” Thepercentage of Americans in favor of the death penalty hasfluctuated significantly over the years, ranging from a low of 42%in 1966, during a revival of the anti-death penalty movement, to ahigh of 80% in 1994. More recently, public opinion on the deathpenalty has been more stable, with upward of two in three Americanssupporting it.
Gallup has asked Americans this question at least twice a yearsince 2001. To examine responses to this question more closely,Gallup combined the results of the nine surveys that asked thisquestion from 2001 through 2004 on a year-by-year basis*. Overall,the data show that 67% of Americans supported the death penalty forconvicted murderers in 2001. This percentage increased slightly to71% in 2002, before dropping back to 67% in 2003. Results for thisyear show essentially no change since last year.
Politics and Capital Punishment
Republicans’ and Democrats’ opinions on the death penaltydiffer, although a majority in both groups endorses it. Eightypercent of Republicans support the death penalty, while 65% ofindependents and 58% of Democrats support it.
Americans who identify themselves as political conservatives arealso more likely to support the death penalty than are moderates orliberals. Nearly three in four conservatives support capitalpunishment, compared with 68% of moderates and 54% of liberals.
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As a state senator in Nebraskas unicameral legislature, Coash took the lead in pushing legislation in 2015 to repeal the death penalty. Although the legislature is officially nonpartisan, lawmakers are aligned with political parties, and Coash successfully built strong support among fellow Republicans who held the majority.
Legislative approval of the bill made Nebraska the first red state in more than 40 years to repeal the death penalty, but the measure ran into opposition from GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts, a staunch death penalty advocate. After the legislature overturned Ricketts veto, he responded by funding a petition drive for a 2016 public referendum that reinstated the death penalty.
In Wyoming, minority Democrats who had long opposed the death penalty turned to like-minded Republicans in a pragmatic effort to push the measure in the GOP-dominated legislature.
State Rep. Charles Pelkey, a leading Democrat who carried the repeal bill last year, said he recognized the importance of letting Republicans take the lead in 2019 if the bill were to have any hope of success.
This is the farthest weve ever gotten, Pelkey said. Republicans are absolutely essential.
% Say There Is Some Risk Of Innocent People Being Put To Death
Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand Americans views about the death penalty. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,109 U.S. adults from April 5 to 11, 2021. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Centers American Trends Panel , an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATPs methodology.
The use of the death penalty is gradually disappearing in the United States. Last year, in part because of the coronavirus outbreak, fewer people were executed than in any year in nearly three decades.
Yet the death penalty for people convicted of murder continues to draw support from a majority of Americans despite widespread doubts about its administration, fairness and whether it deters serious crimes.
More Americans favor than oppose the death penalty: 60% of U.S. adults favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder, including 27% who strongly favor it. About four-in-ten oppose the death penalty, with 15% strongly opposed, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
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Limiting Executions But Not Ending Them
For all the shifts on the death penalty, its status now is defined by two things. The Supreme Court, which determines its legality, seems firmly in favor of it. And at the state level, where prosecutors, jurors and local courts administer the justice system, the number of death sentences and executions is plummeting.
A very different Supreme Court declared executions unconstitutional in 1972, saying the arbitrary use of capital punishment constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. Four years later, after states began remaking their death penalty systems, the court ruled that executions could resume.
Executions soared during a period of high crimes rates in the 1980s and 1990s. The high point for death sentences was 1996, when 315 people were condemned to die. In 1999, 98 people were executed, the most in any year since 1976.
Since then, as crime has fallen, the number of new death sentences dropped to 31 in 2016, a modern-era low, and 20 states have ended the practice.
In three important cases in recent years in 2002, 2005 and 2008 the court has narrowed the death penaltys scope, ruling that juveniles and those with intellectual disabilities cant be executed, and limiting the types of crimes mostly only murder that are eligible for a capital sentence.
Justice Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said the Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death.
Democrats Rethink The Death Penalty And Its Politics
By Tim Arango
LOS ANGELES By signing an executive order, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California recently ended the threat of execution as long as he is in office for the 737 inmates on the states death row, the largest in the Western Hemisphere.
Almost immediately, Democratic presidential candidates lined up in support, calling capital punishment a moral outrage infected with racial bias. Senator Kamala Harris of California, a former prosecutor, for a federal moratorium on executions. Former Representative Beto ORourke of Texas did the same.
The moment marked a generational shift for a party where some candidates long supported the death penalty to protect themselves from being portrayed as soft on crime.
But Democrats arent leading a national debate; they are following a decades-long trend that has seen support for the death penalty drop from nearly 80 percent in the 1990s to just over 50 percent now.
Still, many feel that Mr. Newsom was doing his party no favors politically by forcing Democrats to talk about an issue that can still be fraught in a general election. Even in solidly Democratic California, voters in 2016 rejected a ballot initiative to end the death penalty and instead approved one to expedite executions.
He continued: For some triangulating Democrats, thats a tricky balancing act given that capital punishment is despised by the partys progressive base but is far more popular in the crime-and-order Heartland.
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