Legal Executions and the Humanity of Capital Punishment
The meaning of Capital Punishment can be infered as multiple ideologies; however, the legal definition implies that an individual who commits a serious enough crime is liable to the death penalty. When an individual commits a serious enough crime they will be held under the due process of law where they will be innocent until proven guilty. In the cases where an individual is proven guilty they may be appointed to death row where they will wait for further trials on the case. The United States legal system as well as the Constitution is imposed to promote a fair trial for every human being and does not consider Capital Punishment a violation of the 8th Amendment, allows repeated trials for an inmate to plead his/her innocence to live or receive the Death Penalty, allows the use of lethal injections and does not demonstrate them as a violation of rights and finally, legal cases allowing the Death Punishment were composed by the Supreme Court based on the Constitution which all proves that Capital Punishment is constitutionally justifiable.
An example of why the use of Capital Punishment is constitutionally supported would be the neutral viewpoint that the Eighth Amendment has on the Death Penalty, no cruel or unusual punishments. Even though the Constitution does not specifically mention this punishment, there is still an implied meaning which suggests that the constitution does allow Capital Punishment but does not require it in any way. In order for a punishment to be cruel or unfair, a person’s rights would have to be violated in a way where they would feel “degraded”, “clearly rejected by society” or even contain the feeling of “arbitrary” (Evailat). According to Evaiat, the basis of the Eighth Amendment is not violated due to the fact that the due process of law within the Fifth Amendment promotes a fair trial and is not intended to be cynical punishment on the inmate. Since the inmate is allowed an infinite number of fair trials, it is evident that the inmate is not going to be executed for little to nothing but instead he/she will be executed for a cause decided by numerous judges, officials, and peers that have covered the inmate’s case.
Another similar yet quite different example of why Capital Punishment is considered constitutional would be the granting of inmates to plead as many times as he/she may like before being sentenced to death. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, only “23 of 2797” prisoners on death row were actually sentenced to death in 2017. Not only is it very occasional for an inamte to be executed, but each of the 23 inmates that did recieve the death penalty had on average “243 months” (20.25 years) of pleading and abiding by the Constitution and it’s Fifth Amendment before they were actually executed. For this punishment to pass in the court system, an inmate has to be denied life for 20.25 years as well as have a .008% chance for survival once on death row. Each inmate is given more than enough time to plead their case with government costs reaching “$2.16 million” per individual over those 243 months of pleading. Some may say that no living being deserves to die; however, it is not illegal to kill another person in self defense. This act of self defense was stripped from the victim(s) and the jury decides whether or not a person should have the will to live which is in complete support by the constitution and it’s due process of law.
Another reason why Capital Punishment is constitutionally justifiable is due to the Gregg v. Georgia, Atkins v. Virginia and Hall v. Florida legal Supreme Court cases. In the court case of Gregg v. Georgia, the state government as well as the US government both noted that the Civil Punishment was “not unconstitutional” because it allows the families of victims involved to feel “retribution” and may act as a “deterrence” for crimes similar to the one represented in this case in the future (Legal Information Institute). It was proven in text and written documentation that the Capital Punishment is in support by the Constitution and does not violate it in any way. A common misconception people may have about the death penalty would be the rules and regulations on who can receive the punishment. According to Cornell University and the legal documentation of Atkins v. Virginia and Hall v. Florida, a person who is “intellectually disabled” will not recieve the Capital Punishment because a “mental handicap lessons the severity of the crime” rendering the trial at a less severe outcome. If an individual cannot defend themselves in court with a clear and conscious mindset then they should not receive a punishment they cannot defend themselves.
Another common misconception about legal executions, the most humane method of execution in the United States as of 2019, would be the use of lethal injections and their association with an inmates rights. The use of lethal injections are not unconstitutional in any way. According to the Reflections on Capital Punishment, written by Rob Warden, patientes are first given a perscribed amount of “Sodium Pentathol” which “anesthetizes” the inmate rendering the execution pain free for the inmate which suggests that the Eighth Amendment is not violated in any way. In a few instances, it has taken “over 30 minutes” for inmates to pass on to the afterlife once injected with these lethal doses; however, this is all natural when euthanizing a living being (Evailat). For most inmates, the majority of the time that it takes to execute a prisoner would be the time it takes to fully anesthetize a patient which is where the 30 minute time to kill came into existence. Although the majority of time is spent allowing patients to sleep, there have been numerous reports of the inmates “gasping and convulsing” as described by Rob Warden. This may sound like the inmate is being tortured and is struggling for every last breath but this is simple anatomy. If a carcass is not receiving a sufficient amount of oxygen, then nerves within the body start rapidly pulsing causing the dead being to twitch, tense up or even mumble. Since lethal injections are intended to promote an honor inducing and non painful dismissal to the inmates, then it is true that lethal injections are more than constitutional.
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