In this paper, I will discuss the effect that capital punishment has on deterring criminal activity. Capital punishment is the execution of criminals by the state, for committing crimes, regarded so terrible, that this type of punishment is the only acceptable punishment for the crime committers. For decades now, there has been an ongoing debate over the death penalty in America. The chief argument in favor of death sentences is the fact that it can be used as a deterrent. Deterrence is the idea that executing the murderers will decrease the rates of homicide by discouraging future murderers.
It is through the understanding of the past that we may move forward into the future. In this paper we will examine more closely the origins of abnormal psychology; its limitations, challenges and its evolution. We will also examine the three main theoretical models used in the development of Abnormal psychology into a growing science. Historical Perspectives of Abnormal Psychology “The blunt realities of mental illness shatter our most deeply held convictions about the nature of human consciousness and behavior. The mentally ill are more different than us than we can imagine and more like us than we care to admit.” (Valentine, 2011) This quote paints a poignant and provocative picture of Abnormal Psychology.
They ruled that no state had the power to pass a law that went against the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution. The Civil war played a major role as well in segregation as we all well know. In ruling on a Louisiana Law it was a requirement that facilities for whites and African Americans on trains. In a Supreme Court case it was upheld for separate but equal rights. But in 1896 the decision the Court gave permission to segregated services.
The death penalty is a necessary tool for the United States as it helps reduce the extreme crimes that are arising today. The Death penalty has many opponents. Stephanie Boys is just one in thousands. In her article “The Death Penalty: An Unusual Punishment America is Inflicting Upon Itself” she argues that the death penalty is unconstitutional because it is cruel and unusual punishment. She quotes the Constitution of the United States and argues that the Death Penalty goes against the 8th amendment.
Some pieces address the deterrence effect and others the unfair racial division among death row inmates. The Death Penalty in the United States: A Literature Review A review of the literature surrounding the death penalty in the United States discusses why the death penalty is a relevant and important topic. The death penalty is an issue that separates the United States from other democracies. Among the Western nations, The United States is the only country that still practices capital punishment. Another important issue surrounding the death penalty is the notion of cruel and unusual punishment.
Plessy v. Ferguson,, was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of "separate but equal". The decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1 with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and the dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan. Louisiana Justice Edward Douglass White was one of the majority: he was a member of the New Orleans Pickwick Club and the Crescent City White League, the latter a paramilitary organization that had supported white supremacy with violence through the 1870s to suppress black voting and regain political power by white property owners. "Separate but equal" remained standard doctrine in U.S. law until its repudiation in the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education. After the Supreme Court ruling, the New Orleans Comité des Citoyens, which had brought the suit and had arranged for Homer Plessy's arrest in an act of civil disobedience in order to challenge Louisiana's segregation law, stated, "We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred."
Then it will move onto Merton’s strain theory (1933) and analysis; whether class is an influence when evaluating criminal and deviant behaviours with a contrasting view from Albert Cohen (1955) from his studies on delinquency. It will then analyse from a psychological followed by biological approach from Hirschi (1969) and Jacobs et al (1965). Critical evaluation from different studies and theorists will be applied throughout to question whether it is a person’s environment that leads them into criminal and deviant behaviour. The difference between crime and deviance is that crime breaks the laws of a particular society. If someone commits murder then they are liable to arrest and prosecution in the U.K.
There have been irrevocable mistakes that cannot be changed. Race has played a factor in capital punishment. Addressing the issue about the cost of death vs. life in prison, Is it more economical for use to impose the capital punishment or life in prison? Capital punishment is used to impose a death sentence for those who have been found guilty of committing a horrific act against another human being. But is this form of punishment the answer to our problems?
Should we adhere to the policy of “an eye for an eye”? Opponents of the Death Penalty, in their attempt to illustrate that executing a convicted criminal is no less barbaric than the crime for which he or she is being punished, claim that sentencing these individuals to death does not deter crime. In fact, such executions merely convey that it is acceptable to act violently. In her argument against Capital Punishment, Belinda York states, “Why should potential criminals be afraid of committing crimes, when the very society that prohibits such behavior resorts to the same methods” (89)? According to this view, if the state is allowed to kill, why is not this privilege extended to all citizens?