Friday, April 3, 2020
The Death Penalty Debate in the United States of America
Introduction Capital punishment has otherwise been referred to as death sentence or death penalty. It can also be used to refer to legal execution of a convicted individual or through a judicial process.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on The Death Penalty Debate in the United States of America specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More The capital punishment has always been used in situations where an individual or criminal is judicially convicted of a capital offence or capital crime (Milhorn 401). It is important to examine the origin of capital punishment. The capital is a term that was coined from the Latin word Ã¢â¬Å"capitalisÃ¢â¬ which actually, in its literal sense means Ã¢â¬Å"gaze at the head.Ã¢â¬ So it means that initially, capital punishment was a situation where a convicted criminal had his or her head judicially severed. Nonetheless, it is important to note that capital punishment, in the past, has virtua lly been utilized every society (Milhorn 401). However, available literature indicates that only 58 countries of the world still practice capital punishment; this represents only approximately 5% of all countries in the world. The meaning of this is that about 95% of all countries in the world have turned away from using capital punishment to contain crimes. In many countries, capital punishment is still a subject of hot debate in many countries, including the United States of America, and standpoints can vary within a given singular cultural religion amongst a group of individuals or political ideology (Clarke and Whitt, pp29-46). Amongst the nations that do not recognize capital punishment as a form of deterring or terminating the commission of capital offences are those that are found within the European Union. This is well spelt in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Even though the Transparency International consider most countries as abolitionists against capital punishment, research findings indicate that more than 60% of the worlds population reside in countries where capital punishment is still an option for punishing or deterring capital offenders. Example of such countries where capital punishment is still an option are the United States of America, the PeopleÃ¢â¬â¢s Republic of China and Indonesia (Clarke and Whitt, pp.46-57). However, looking at the contemporary society, the global distribution of death penalty has been varying greatly with some countries and states abolishing and reinstating capital punishments.Advertising Looking for essay on criminal law? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Since the end of the Second World War, the global tendency toward abolishing the death penalty has been on the rise. According to available information, there are countries that have abolished death sentencing completely; some have only allowed it under special or specific circumstan ces while others are yet to make their decisions and take a stand on abolishing it. Even though death penalty is still being practiced in a significant number of developed nations, it was widely practiced in developing countries most of which were under the control of repressive, dictatorial or totalitarian governments. With regard to this, it will be accurate to argue that that capital punishment has some times been used for political reasons to contain political dissidents. The death punishment in America is varied depending with jurisdictions. Practically, death punishment in the United States of America is only applicable in cases of motivated murder and more remotely for felony assassination or what is otherwise referred to as indenture murder. The (capital) punishment is believed to have been there even at the time of the earlier colonies of the United States; it as well continued to be in force within the states that came to form afterwards. In the process of judicial executi on, the methods are different and depended on the type of criminal activity committed. The first to be sentenced to capital punishment in America was executed in 1608; the person was judicially executed after being convicted of spying on behalf of the government of Spain. Afterwards, the capital punishment in the United States have been abolished and reinstated for a significant number of times. Nonetheless, several states within the United States apply capital punishment for differently in relation to crime committed (Clarke and Whitt, pp.03-68). This positional paper will argue in favor of death penalties. To this effect, the paper will examine the various reason death penalty is still appropriate and important towards containing certain types of criminal activities. Moreover, the paper will utilize the ideas such as DNA evidences and other forms of evidences as they relate to death as a penalty. The various impact of banning death as a penalty will also form part of the themes in this paper. AbolitionistsÃ¢â¬â¢ Views In order to get the basis on which to understand the significance of capital punishment, it is important to start by looking at arguments against the judicial execution.Advertising We will write a custom essay sample on The Death Penalty Debate in the United States of America specifically for you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More It is important to note that even though death penalty has gained support from various individuals, private organizations and state institutions, the subject is still hotly detested; there are a significant number of people or group of individuals who cannot see the positive side of capital punishment. The opposition to capital punishment began as early as 1767 when abolitionist movements were taking roots. The current abolitionist movement has its roots in the works of Montesquieu, a European theorist. Other theorists included English known as Quakers John Bellers, Bentham and John Ho ward. Meanwhile, it was Cesare strongly campaigned against capital punishment the world over. Beccaria hypothesized that the state does not encompass any validation to take away life either for a group of individuals or an individual. The work of Beccaria offered staunch abolitionists with a renewed energy to argue champion against capital punishment with an authoritative voice. In fact, the influence of this theory achieved some grounds worldwide where some countries actually abolished death penalty as a way of judicial killing. The ideas of Beccaria on death penalty had great influence on the American intellectuals who fought for its abolishment except in extreme cases like treason and crimes of murder. The abolitionist movement has argued, borrowing from BeccariaÃ¢â¬â¢s arguments, that capital punishment does not serve as a deterrent to crimes for which it is meted. During the early part of the 19th century, abolitionist movement gained momentum in the United States of America and consequently some states revised their statutes in relation to capital punishment. Even so, more states maintained their capital punishment statutes. By the time the United States was facing the First World War, capital punishment was reinstated; this could be interpreted as a blow to the anti-capital punishment crusaders. As much as death penalty is necessary, those arguing against it advance a significant number of incontrovertible arguments that are worth acknowledging. They have argued that there exist nothing like humane method of judicial execution irrespective of what crime the convict might have committed to warrant death sentence. These people state that execution is torturous to a convicted criminal and that it must be realized that the criminals are also human beings with human feelings and fear of losing their families. Moreover, an argument has been advanced that the mental conditions of the convicted as at the time of commission of capital offense is not usually gi ven the attention it requires; besides, it is noted that from the time capital punishment is pronounced on a convict upto the time when execution takes place, the convict undergoes a lot of psychological torture and mental disturbance. This causes more suffering to the convict than the commission of offence may warrant.Advertising Looking for essay on criminal law? Let's see if we can help you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More The most important point raised by those arguing against capital punishment is the virtual conviction that there may be a miscarriage of righteousness where an innocent individual may be judicially executed and there is no possible compensation in case this takes place. Due to this uncertainty, many individuals have petitioned and pressurized states to consider abolishing death penalties in their judicial systems. Another argument advanced by anti-capital punishment crusaders is that the families of the convicts should not be overlooked. They say that the families also feel pain when they realize there loved ones are to be judicially executed; the families of the convicts are said to go through hell during the time starting from the pronouncement of death sentence to the actual execution of the convicted criminal. Racism has been linked to unjustified death sentences where members of a given race are more likely to be handed death penalty than others. For instance, it is estimated t hat black capital criminals are highly likely to get death penalty where the victims are mostly whites; in cases involving black victims, white capital offenders are most likely to escape death penalties. Meanwhile, there are so many reasons the anti-capital punishment crusaders have advanced against death penalty. However, maintenance of death penalty in the penal code is still very important in terms of certain crime prevention. The Need for Capital Punishment As much as there have been oppositions to death penalty by human rights and activists and other abolitionists, death penalty still has a significant role to play in terms of ensuring deterrence to keep away capital criminals from committing capital offences. In the history of death penalty, there are sufficient evidences indicating that even countries in which capital punishment had been removed from the statutes have reinstated the form of punishment. This implies that the role played by the legality of capital punishment r emains invaluable in terms of crime control and prevention (Council of Europe, pp.3-13). The argument between those for the death penalties has been going on for sometimes now in the United States of America. There are many people who have tried by all means available to them to push the state to abolish death penalty. However, the fact is that death penalty is necessary in cases of certain crimes like serial killing, abduction and rape of underage children and other forms of felony. Those opposed to death penalty base their arguments on the possibilities of convicting and subsequently executing an innocent person (Council of Europe, pp. 15-25). The death penalty provision exists after the law makers realized that it is the only solution to certain crimes, otherwise what government will want to execute the very innocent citizens it is mandated to protect. One striking fact is that before someone is convicted of a felony and sentenced to death, through investigation must be conducted ; the process of conducting such investigations includes the use of scientific techniques like DNA tests even though this has been faulted to have possible errors of proof just like any other means of determining the guilt of a criminal offender. Most important to note is the fact that the conviction process does not only utilize one means of determining whether one is guilty or innocent, a combination of methodological techniques is used so that one technique is highly likely to examine what is beyond the scope of another. It is important to note that those arguing against the death penalty have advanced some arguments that are both logical and realistic. However, they seem to be oblivious of the fact that the process of conviction is so elaborate and effective that the chances of convicting an innocent individual is actually close to unlikely (Council of Europe, pp. 15-30). Moreover, it is still wrong to argue that death punishment may condemn an otherwise innocent person to death . There is absolutely no proof for this claim; before anybody faces execution, especially within the United States of America, a carefully selected jury is selected to examine and make decisions on such cases as relate to capital punishment; and they have always worked towards proofs beyond any reasonable doubt that a defendant is actually guilty of the capital crime committed. Therefore, the likelihood of any innocent individual being executed by mistake is actually limited. Given the perpetually improving forensic science, the chances of judicial execution of an innocent individual is nearing zero. It therefore implies that the fear of executing an innocent person judicially should not now be amongst the reasons anti-capital punishment crusaders use against the death penalty (Gershman, pp. 107-117). The inappropriateness of capital punishment has also been widely propagated through the various media. The fact is that the media has always confused the true distinction between the t erms Ã¢â¬Å"acquittalÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"innocenceÃ¢â¬ as they are used in the justice system. It is this confusion in the mediaÃ¢â¬â¢s judicial reporting that present the public with the belief that those who escape convictions are actually innocent individuals who would otherwise be executed for a given crime. The clear characteristic is that innocence suggests that the individual did not indulge in the offense although being exonerated does not imply innocence. The fact is that the court is likely to acquit a suspect in cases where the defendants are not able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused actually committed the offense. It is in such cases where the court has acquitted an individual, irrespective of whether he or she committed the crime or not, due to lack of proof beyond reasonable doubt that the media has taken it as if the court has found the individual innocent. In summary, a jury is obliged to acquit an individual who is most likely guilty but who se guilt cannot be proven before the court or the jury beyond any reasonable doubt. This is also a proving ground on which capital punishment should not be abolished (Gershman, pp. 131-140). The possible conviction and subsequent execution of an innocent individual is unfortunate by all standards of justice available. But, it is noteworthy that the unfortunate scenario can not only be avoided through abolition of death penalty. Instead, the immense role played by death penalty in terms of criminal deterrence should appear in the bigger picture. Even if innocent people can mistakenly be executed for crimes they have not committed or abated, their number may not match those offenders who qualify for death penalty. This implies that the probability of executing an innocent person is immensely insignificant and hence should not be a reason for which death penalty should be abolished. Besides, in the recent past, there has never been heard of a situation where and individual has mistaken ly been convicted and sentenced to death. This reinforces the argument that the chances of executing an innocent person are very limited and almost unlikely (Gershman, pp. 202-213). Looking at the bigger picture, it is important to acknowledge that there are some career criminals whose existence means perpetual threat to social tranquility besides creating social disorder. For example, a career criminal whose presence in any setting is always defined by violence and even death might have been in and out of jail. This implies that such as criminal cannot be rehabilitated through jailing and hence the need to eliminate him or her from the society. In this case, death penalty may not be considered as a punishment to the offender, but should be seen as a way of ensuring that a single individual or few people do not threaten the overall social peace within a given society. In relation to this, it will be noted that judicial execution is an effective way of stopping capital offenses. Ther e may be many criminals who carry out capital offenses, but the judicially executed ones will never commit such crimes again. The victims of criminals vary in terms of gender and age. In many cases, there are vulnerable groups which suffer in the hands of certain offenders. For example, children and women are the most likely victims of sex offenders. Sex offenders are normally handed more severe punishment than other offenders. This is acknowledgeable, but the fact is that punishment should not be seen in terms of what kind of offence is committed; it should be viewed in the light of what effects or impacts it is likely to have on the general public, especially with respect to right to life and other fundamental freedoms. In this case, it will be defeating to logic to let an individual whose behavior has proved heinous to the general public to continue living amongst the members of the society; this will simply offer such an individual more opportunities to continue with is heinous act. If left unchecked through death, such individuals are likely to remain threats to the neighborhood of their residence. So, the only way to ensure they do not continue with their socially threatening undertakings is sentence them to death (Gershman, pp. 231-137). Generally, punishment is used as deterrence to criminal activities. In view of this, it is worth mentioning that death sentence is a unique its own capacity as a deterrence to reoccurrences of particular crimes. Unlike other penalties, death is not meant to teach the convicted a lesson. It performs two levels of functions; one, it simply puts an end to heinous criminal activities by a specific individual. This implies that there may be other criminals committing similar crimes but the actions by the executed individual are completely terminated. Two, it is a fact that many people fear dying; and the constitutional provide for death as a penalty to deter an individual from committing certain crimes. Therefore, in situati ons where a convicted individual is executed, the message is not to the executed but to those who are yet to commit a similar act. This is what is referred to as general deterrence or indirect deterrence to crime. According to research findings, death penalty has been found to reduce homicide where it is being meted. For instance, the research study conducted by Emory group during the period between 1977 and 1999 indicated that death sentence had been effective in terms of lowering homicide rate in about 3, 054 counties. The study findings further indicate that each death sentence pronounced resulted into 4.5 reductions in murder crimes while each execution led to reductions in murders by three. Research studies have also been conducted within the United States of America and the findings shows that the rate of homicide increased by 91% in the states where death penalty was abolished. Meanwhile, 70% of the states are reported to have experienced a decline in homicide after the state s had re-introduced death penalty (Espejo, pp1-15). Data collected from the general public are in agreement with the sentiment that capital punishment should not be abolished. Many of the surveyed public members of various countries have expressed their sentiments that retribution for the criminal activities committed against them, their relatives and friends is more significant to them than deterrence. An important point to take into consideration is that many criminals have been executed since death penalty was introduced several decades ago. This means that the justice system has actually not been sufficiently equipped to handle the criminals and hence failed to reform their behaviors. For instance, different sex offenders have been caught severally in different cases. The fact therefore is that the threat of death has not deterred them, so the focus shifts from rehabilitating the criminals to protecting the safety of the general members of the society; and this is through legall y eliminating them by execution. The argument here may be that death penalty has not succeeded to deter such heinous criminal activities; nonetheless, it is better to have new people committing the crime dealt with rather than let individuals to live and repeatedly commit there heinous acts. This makes sure one does not perpetually commit the offence (Espejo, pp.34-38). Death penalty has been limited to certain age. In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United State of America made a ruling that adolescent individuals are not subject to capital punishment. The ruling was premised on the research done by the American Psychological Association. The research findings claimed that adolescents are less mature than the adults and hence are subject such factors as peer pressures, difficulties in restraining their impulses and the general underdeveloped sense or responsibility. This research made the Supreme Court to rule that people under the age of 18 years old cannot be handed death sentence . The Supreme Court ruling on this matter is not sustainable in terms of ensuring justice for all citizens, especially the victims whose only hope is retribution for criminal acts committed against them. It implies that victims of heinous activities committed by the less than 18 years old criminals can never get justice yet the state is mandated to ensure justice and safety for all. The fact is that, in terms of development, there is a thin line between an 18 year old and 17 years old individuals and thus adult age may not imply. The 17 year old averagely thinks just like an 18 year old individual. In this case, age should not be a factor in determining who gets death sentence and does not. Every behavioral activity should be considered with respect to its danger to the members of the society (Espejo, pp.132-146). Death sentence should apply to all irrespective of age since the consequences or impacts of such heinous activities are always relatively the similar. For instance, the vi ctim of rape by a less than 18 year old teenager will have the same horrible experience as the victim of rape by some who is 18 years and above. The death penalty should therefore be applied for the safety of all members of the society. The rationale here is that the magnitude of pain inflicted through heinous act is totally independent on the age of the offender and that is what should actually inform the justice process. It has also been argued that death punishment is cruel an unusual to both the convict and the convictÃ¢â¬â¢s family members and friends. Those who pose this argument are oblivious of the fact that the victim and his or her families and friends also have the same experience. To argue on the cruelty about the cruelty of capital punishment meted to a convict and remain silent on the side of the victim actually defeats the logic of justice. One thing that is important to be borne in mind that the convicted criminal must have been aware of the consequences of committ ing capital offenses. This is reinforced by the fact that the consequences of crimes are well spelt in the statutory books and have been in existence for very many years. Again, it is worth recalling that every judicial execution taking place now, especially in the 21st century, is not the first ones; the executions have been going on since over a thousand years ago. It is therefore a common knowledge that every criminal should know the most probable consequence of every criminal act. In addition, the law is very clear on the kind of people who can be tried and convicted before the court (Espejo, pp.156-162). There are those who are exempted from judicial proceedings; such are those who are mentally ill or have mental disorder, the minor children who are statutorily underage amongst others. In view of all these, it is important to realize that a convicted criminal is always aware of the consequences but went on to commit the crime anyway. Again, the convict must have been aware of t he potential harm and pain to the victim, the victimÃ¢â¬â¢s family and friends but went on to commit the crime anyway and also, the convict must have been aware of those who have committed similar offenses and actually convicted and judicially executed. So, it is justified to say or assume that a convicted individual sentenced to capital punishment had sufficient information at his or her disposal to enable him make a rational choice, though this may not always be the case. It therefore implies that in the presence of all these overwhelming information, that is also common in the public domain, the convicted individual still chose to go a head commit a capital offense; this may be referred to as crime by impunity. For this reason, it justified to judicially execute the convict irrespective of whether he or she feels the pain or his or her friends and family do. The idea here is that in case of pain felt by family members and friends of the convict, the convict failed to think of t hat before committing capital offense. In support of the forgoing argument, it is suitable that the mode of an eye for an eye is utilized. Many people who support capital punishment are highly likely to see this as cruel, but this will be very effective in terms of deterring capital offenses and protecting the general innocent public members. The issue is that the victims of capital offenders are, in most cases, innocent; and in cases where they die from heinous acts of offenders, it cannot be argued that they will ever get justice. So, judicially executing somebody who has killed does not necessarily afford the dead victim justice, but it is ensuring that as many capital offenders as possible are eliminated from the society. In terms of moral grounds, anti-capital punishment crusaders have argued that death penalty does not have moral standing; but it is important to state that if that may be true, then the activities of capital criminal offenders are also not morally acceptable in the society. Nonetheless, the question that may be asked is that of how the perpetually or dangerously immoral behavior can be eliminated from the entire society if not by judicial execution. If this question were to be answered, then the response will be none, hence leaving capital punishment as the only means (Mandery, pp.1-9). One other thing that has not been given much of attention in the debate about the appropriateness of death penalty is that every prisoner or inmate would like to escape from prison should an opportunity arises. In fact, there have been several reports indicating that many prisoners have escaped from prison premises. In particular, those on long-term jail terms are most likely to escape from prison given that there lives are at stake due to the juryÃ¢â¬â¢s approval. In this case, if capital offenders were to be given long jail terms, they are likely to escape and find their ways back into the society where they are likely to continue committing the very c apital offenses they had been convicted of. In order to avoid such incidences, it is important that those found guilty of capital offenses be handed death penalty and thereafter be executed within the shortest time possible (Espejo, pp. 260-167). Again it is important to recognize that laws are very dynamic and subject to change with time. In situations where a capital offender were to be jailed for life without a parole, the change of law may grant such an offender some minimum level of parole which may beat the logic of justice for the victim or close relations of justice. For instance, a capital offender may be sentenced to life in prison but after some times, the law may possible change in such a way that those who are on life imprisonment jail term may be eligible to release if they meet certain requirements like changed behavior or showing remorsefulness. The consequence of this is that this kind of statutory change may be misused by the inmates through pretending to have beha vior change but once released may again go back into committing similar capital offenses for which he or she was jailed. This imprisonment may be considered to be the most appropriate alternative to capital punishment, but laws change and people also tend to forget about the past. In this scenario, life imprisonment may be abolished and capital offenders may be allowed back into the society after a given period of imprisonment. For this reason, it serves no good the society to abolish capital punishment and this may even lead to upsurge in the number of capital offenders (Yorke 283). The cost of judicial execution has been fronted as one of the reason capital punishment should be abolished; it is explained that the process of running a case of capital punishment demands a lot of money from the state and also the family members of convicts who may be engaged in several court appeals. It is true that going through the process of issuing capital punishment is complex and requires time and financial input. However, the cost is justified; first to ensure that the due process is thorough to avoid convicting an innocent person and also to ensure that it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that the suspect is actually guilty. The processing of executing a convict requires exhaustive evidences which should be ensured are as accurate as possible since everything at that time revolves about lives; first, it revolves around the life of the suspect who may unjustifiably be executed for a crime that might attract lesser sentence and second, in case of murder, the life of the members of the society who may continue to be victims if the accused is released on account of insufficient proof. It is clear that the cost of the whole process is to ensure justice for both the suspect and the victim and potential victims (Yorke 283). Conclusion Death penalty is a capital penalty used in punishing criminals who engage in serious criminal activities that may even go far as causing real o r perceived threat of life. The death penalty has been a serious debate topic in the United States of America. The existence of execution as a form of meting punishment to serious offenders and criminals has over the past drawn mixed perceptions. It is important to note that the differences in opinions are significant reasons for which some states within the United States have abolished death penalties while some still maintain it in their statutes (Milhorn 401). As much as capital punishment is still relevant, there has been heated debate about it with a significant number of people arguing against it. The opposition to capital punishment began as early as 1767 when abolitionist movements were taking roots. The current abolitionist movement has its roots in the works of Montesquieu, a European theorist. Other theorists included English known as Quakers John Bellers, Bentham and John Howard. However, it was the work of Beccaria offered staunch abolitionists with a renewed energy to argue champion against capital punishment with an authoritative voice. As much as death penalty is necessary, those arguing against it advance a significant number of undeniable facts that are worth acknowledging. They argue that capital punishment is cruelty against humanity, offenders might have not been sound mind at the time of commission of a capital offense and that execution puts the family of the convicted into pain and agony (Clarke and Whitt, pp29-46). The most central point raised by those arguing against death punishment is the virtual certainty that there may be a miscarriage of fair dealing or honesty within the court system where an innocent individual may be judicially executed and there is no possible compensation in case this happens. Because of this, several human rights group have petitioned various governments in the world to drop capital punishment from their statutes. Despite the opposition to it, death penalty still has a significant role to play in terms of ensuring deterrence to keep away capital criminals from committing capital offences. In the history of death penalty, there are sufficient evidences indicating that even countries in which capital punishment had been removed from the statutes have reinstated the form of punishment. This implies that the role played by the legality of capital punishment remains invaluable in terms of crime control and prevention. The death penalty provision exists after the law makers realized that it is the only solution to certain crimes, otherwise what government will want to execute the very innocent citizens it is mandated to protect. In order to avoid executing an innocent individual, anybody who faces execution, especially within the United States of America, a carefully selected jury is selected to examine and make decisions on such cases as relate to capital punishment; and they have always worked towards proofs beyond any reasonable doubt that a defendant is actually guilty of the capital c rime committed. However, a jury is obliged to acquit an individual who is most likely guilty but whose guilt cannot be proven before the court or the jury beyond any reasonable doubt. Death punishment is used as deterrence to criminal activities. According to research findings, death penalty has been found to reduce homicide where it is being meted. For instance, the research study conducted by Emory group during the period between 1977 and 1999 indicated that death sentence had been effective in terms of lowering homicide rate in about 3, 054 counties. Capital punishment should be applied to all irrespective of age since the consequences or impacts of such heinous activities are always relatively the similar. Moreover, capital offenders seem to be always aware of the consequences of their criminal act before they commit it yet choose to go ahead (Clarke and Whitt, pp.46-57). Again, in case capital punishment is commuted to life imprisonment, there is high possibility that if the lo ng-term serving inmates escape out of prison, they will still continue to commit the very crime they were convicted of and hence place a mockery on the justice system for the victims and potential victims. Besides, the laws may change in such a manner that the capital offenders get an opportunity to go back into the society and may possibly not be cowed by the lesser consequences (Espejo, pp.156-162). Works Cited Clarke, Williams Whitt, Lauelyn. The bitter fruit of American justice: international and domestic resistance to the death penalty. New York: UPNE, 2007. Council of Europe. The death penalty: beyond abolition, Parts 42-43. New York: Council of Europe, 2004. Espejo, Roman. Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime? New York: Greenhaven Press, 2002. Gershman, Gary. Death penalty on trial: a handbook with cases, laws, and documents. New York: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Mandery, Evan. Capital punishment: a balanced examination. New York: Jones Bartlett Learning, 2005. Milhorn, Thomas. Crime: C omputer Viruses to Twin Towers. New York: Universal-Publishers, 2004. Yorke, Jon. Against the death penalty: international initiatives and implications. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 This essay on The Death Penalty Debate in the United States of America was written and submitted by user Sincere Schmidt to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly. You can donate your paper here.