Academic Master

Laws and International Laws

Annotated Bibliography on Capital Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

Topic: Capital Punishment in the Criminal Justice System

Thesis: The criminal justice system should revisit capital punishment as a form of combating crime as there are aspects of biases experienced.

Kumar S. “OPINION: The death sentence is ineffective, cruel” OPINION. 3 Feb 2015

The article “OPINION: The death sentence is ineffective, cruel,” authored by Sonia Kumar has various arguments regarding the form of punishment that is applied whenever a crime is committed. The article has concentrated on capital punishment which in his own opinion states that it is outdated, ineffective, biased, and an expensive practice that above all supports the violent cycle further. Various facts have been provided in the article to support this argument regarding capital punishment. The author states that despite the punishment being implemented in the various judgments by the courts, the rate of crime is still high and the purpose it was supposed to serve is not met. Regarding capital punishment being outdated, Sonia states that this is a practice that was meant to scare away criminals. Still, some are doing it with the knowledge of what will occur to them and thus end up not working. Sonia gives an example of states and countries that had previously adopted this form of punishment but gradually found that it was not working for them.  After realizing that capital punishment does not serve the intended purpose, they adopt new ways and forms of punishment, which turn out to be effective. The author points out that there are times when the officers in charge do not conduct a comprehensive investigation and subject innocent individuals to capital punishment. The author tables facts regarding the expenses of housing prisoners on death row comparing it to prisoners in the general population and it is found to be double. Finally, the author states that capital punishment furthers a cycle of violence as there are those who go after revenge. The article by Sonia has presented facts that can be relied on when investigating why capital punishment should be avoided. Thus, it can be considered in research work as proof of outdated, ineffective, biased, and expensive practices.

Pilkington Ed “Research exposes racial discrimination in America’s death penalty capital.” New York Times. 13 Mar 2013.

In the article “Research exposes racial discrimination in America’s death penalty capital”, published by Ed Pilkington in the New York Times, there is a presentation of facts and statistics that show that black inmates in Houston stand a higher chance for more than thrice as compared to whites regarding death sentences that courts of law effect. These were research that aimed at investigating the rate at which death sentences are effected to inmates regardless of their race. Referring to a study that was conducted by a criminologist from the University of Maryland it was evident that racial discrimination dominates in Harris County. When whites are presented before the magistrate and a decision is made regarding capital punishment, the chances of the cases being reconsidered are high as compared to black inmates. When comparing capital murder in Harris County between 1992 and 1999, it was evident that seven out of ten of the crimes that were reported associated with African Americans sent for capital trial compared to only one out of five white defendants subjected to the same. Despite being presented to different Judges, the decision presented stands to be valid. This is an indication that racial discrimination plays a critical role in the denial of justice to Black Americans. This article is of importance when investigating why capital punishment is not always an effective way to combat crime as racial discrimination takes a larger portion in the determination of cases.  In the case of Buck, the percentages of the black population being subjected to capital punishment as compared to whites are of importance in the presentation of facts.

Demby G. “How Black Americans See Discrimination.” Morning Edition. 25 OCT. 2017.

In the article, “How Black Americans See Discrimination,” authored by Gene Demby and published on Morning Edition, there is a presentation of facts and statistics regarding how Black Americans face racial discrimination from whites which has extended to the corridors of justice. The author states that racial discrimination remains one of the social problems that is experienced in society today which is practiced and furthered by the actions of both whites and blacks. Racial discrimination is being practiced regularly to an extent that the discriminated cannot condemn it as they have taken it to be a way of living, which should not be the case. Black Americans take racial discrimination as a fact of life citing the study that NPR conducted, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. These imply that some of the victims of racial discrimination do not even realize the kind of treatment they go through. Racial discrimination seems to have a greater impact at the institutional level compared to individuals because of the influence that is experienced. The research showed that those who were in different economic classes were prone to racial discrimination. This is the reason why when a case involving a black and a white are presented for hearing; the white magistrate seems to favor the other white regardless of the crime committed. Also, the police associated black Americans with crimes, and that is the reason there are more blacks than whites as inmates in various prisons. The article is considered important when investigating the factors that lead to criminal injustice and its relation to racial discrimination. The Bureau of Justice Statistics statistics are important in showing the percentages regarding racial discrimination and legal administration.



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