Tuesday, March 20, 2012

American Government 3/19/12

In Class - Begin discussion on capital punishment.  KWL Chart regarding this topic.  Begin watching documentary "No Tomorrow" (link is above).

Homework - QOW due on Sunday, March 25 by 11:59 pm.

QOW - Do some outside research and include a minimum of two sources to support your response.  Also include a works cited (MLA) with your response.

After doing your research, what are your two best arguments for and against the death penalty?  Include specific details to support your arguments including your own personal opinion on the subject.  Do you agree with capital punishment or not?  Be sure to justify your response without a reasonable doubt.


Kevin Lee said...

My main 2 arguments against capital punishment is that it doesn't serve it's purpose of acting as a deterrent for crime, and that it also costs more to execute someone than to give them life imprisonment. A University of Florida news article quotes a Criminologist, which sums up the ineffectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent quite nicely: “If you want to deter people from leaning on your stove, medium heat works just as well as high heat.” And as a New York Times article says, the cost of capital punishment in California is $137 million every year, which is staggeringly high and unnecessary.

Two arguments for capital punishment would be that it's the "right" thing to do, and that it provides closure to the victim's loved ones, but these are just emotional arguments with no real logical basis.


Hunter, Edward. "University of Florida News." – Experts Agree: Death Penalty Not A Deterrent To Violent Crime. 15 Jan. 1997. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. .

Minsker, Natasha. "Cost of the Death Penalty." NYTimes.com. 28 Feb. 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. .

Roman34 said...

My 2 arguments for Capital Punishment is that it will give the family's victim closure and lets them know that a murderer been subjected to the fullest amount of the law. If these murderer's want to go out and kill human being's like animals they deserve to have the death penalty.Even though the Penalty of death does not deter anybody from committing these crimes from happening.The death penalty is in all fair even though the process of getting someone executed is time consuming and worth allot of money it would just be as easy and less cost effective to just put them in prison to let them live there life out. Many people say that the death penalty is a form of Cruel and Unusual Punishment but in fact the murder that they have committed would be way more cruel then them just being electrocuted/Lethal Injection, in all fair if they take a life there life should be taken regardless.

Green, Melissa S. ( 24-Mar-2005 ). "The Death Penalty: Specific Issues." In Melissa S. Green, compiler (1998-2009), Focus on the Death Penalty (website). Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage.

juliahpark said...

My two best arguments for capital punishment is that the punishment of a crime should be equal to the crime. For example, if your crime was murder the appropriate punishment is death. My second argument is for the safety of the prison’s guards or other prisoners. Criminals who receive the death penalty are violent people. My two arguments against capital punishment is that the life of a criminal will not equal for the crime committed. Depending on the religion some people believe that deaths should be natural. I do agree with capital punishment. I am for capital punishment because I believe that the more severe the crime, the ore sever the punishment should be. Imprisoning someone for life is more expensive than executing the person. This punishment is for the protection of the society. Criminals who are in prison and will be there for all their life should get death penalty because that’s how big their crime was.

Johnson, Priya. "Death Penalty Pros and Cons." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 13 Feb. 2010. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .

Aaron To said...

Using capital punishment is a benefit in a couple of ways. Such as removing the convicted criminal permanently. It removes dangerous people and provides a sense of safety. They cannot commit any more crimes if they aren't alive. It also causes fear towards "future" criminals. People that are afraid of it won't do crimes to a certain extent. Also it gives closure and a sense of justice for the love ones of the victims that the criminal caused pain to. One setback is that it costs more to execute an individual than to incarcerate someone for the rest of their life.


"Arguments for and against Capital Punishment." Capital Punishment U. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .

"Stand to Reason: Reasons for Capital Punishment." Stand to Reason. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .

monica barriga said...

My two arguments for capital punishment would be that it should be treated equal. It’s unfair that if a minor did like for example he/she killed didn’t get that punished as to an adult. We never know if these criminals later on become to be a huger problem in our lives, and we need to stop them before it gets even worse. These murders have earned their own punishment as well so they won’t be killing over and over again. And society has its duty to act in self defense to protect the innocent. My second argument is that this is a way a cruel treatment that sometimes some people get punished without even having fault. In the U.S. from 1977 through 2009 about 1,188 people have been executed. If death penalty is more expensive why don’t they just let these people be in lifetime jail sentence? It is not right to take someone else’s live like how we are taught in our religion (Catholic), but to let God pay for it in another way. In my opinion, I don’t agree with the capital punishment, but I’m not saying that these murderers should not be punished they should because it is not right to take someone else’s live. This is a form of inhuman, and at least they should just be lifetime sentence.

“Should the death penalty be allowed?” ProCon.org. 13 March 2012. Web.
25 March 2012.
White, Deborah. “Pros & Cons of the Death Penalty.” About.com. 2012. Web.
25 March 2012.

Rafael Ontiveros said...

My main arguments against capital punishment is that the punishment should be equal to the crime that was committed. I also believe that it is necessary because it gets rid of people who have committed some horrible crimes. Another reason I'm in favor of it is because people who have killed someone should deserve the same as what they did to the person the crime was committed too.

"Top 10 Pros and Cons - Death Penalty - ProCon.org." Death Penalty ProCon.org. Web. 26 Mar. 2012.

Lisa Martinez said...

My arguments for capital punishment is that the crime they commit should fit the time they pay for it. Many families see closure once someone gets thrown into jail by the authorities, others don't. Based on how bad the crime is that's how you should know what your punishment is. What makes me against capital punishment is that it costs money for crimes others commit. They go to jail where they have a place to sleep,eat, and live. They all really have no worries. Capital punishment is something that can be used in the world more today but should be way more enforced. Things could easily go wrong in capital punishment like someone serving time that wasn't even for them when their 'innocent'. You can never gain that time back in your life again so they need to be more strict on how they handle things. Arguments for capital punishment is it keeps the world safer and a better place because we have less criminals out in society and more behind bars.

White, Deborah. “Pros & Cons of the Death Penalty.” About.com. 2012. Web. 25 March 2012.

Luis De Anda said...

My two arguments for capital punishment is that the most frightening thing for a human being is to lose their life, therefore the death penalty is the best thing to do when it comes to discouraging people from carrying out the worst crimes. The death penalty acts as a deterrent for prisoners who are already serving life sentences in jail from committing more serious offences. The 2 arguments against capital punishment would be that it is way too expensive and is less expensive if the prisoners stay in prison for life. And the death penalty affects the poorer segments of society and racial minorities disproportionately, in part because they are unable to afford the costs of good legal support. In the USA, although only 13% of the US population are African American, but 50% of death row prisoners are African American. I do not agree with capital punishment because of the cost and who are we to agree if a person lives or not.

Goodman,John."Death penalty pros and cons". HubPages.March 26,2012

Sonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sonia said...

I believe that Capital Punishment does not serve it's purpose. It is said that capital punishment is used to lower the rate of crimes, but it seems to do the exact opposite, states with the death penalty have a higher murder rate then states without it. It costs more to have someone on death row than it does to just lock them up in jail for life. Then there is the chance that the person being committed is not the one who actually did the crime, therefore the persons life is then ruined.

What gives a person the right to actually take someone else's life? What makes it right? Just because someone is given the permission to take another persons life does that not still make it murder? It is understandable that the victim's family would want some kind of punishment to befall the criminal, but killing said criminal won't bring back their lost ones, and wouldn't locking someone up in prison for life have a better effect on a person than being given the death penalty?

Johnson, Priya. "Death Penalty Pros and Cons." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 13 Feb. 2010. Web. 26 March 2012.

kristyknaggs said...

Kristy Knaggs
According to gallup.com, 69% of Americans are in favor of the death penalty. My main argument for capital punishment is that it is a good incentive not to kill other people. With the fear of losing your own life, one might be restrained to take the lives of others. Although through the media with every murder making headlines it seems that it isn’t working, but what the media or what anyone actually knows is how many murders have been prevented based on the fact that the person doesn’t want to suffer the same fate. Also, if the person in death row does good deeds, he or she is can be appealed so they can get a lesser sentence than the one they deserve.
However, no one can argue the facts against the death penalty and how they seem a bit more rational. First of all, it costs less for an inmate to live life in prison rather than on death row. “The average cost of defending a trial in a federal death case is $620,932, about 8 times that of a federal murder case in which the death penalty is not sought. A study found that those defendants whose representation was the least expensive, and thus who received the least amount of attorney and expert time, had an increased probability of receiving a death sentence. Defendants with less than $320,000 in terms of representation costs (the bottom 1/3 of federal capital trials) had a 44% chance of receiving a death sentence at trial. On the other hand, those defendants whose representation costs were higher than $320,000 (the remaining 2/3 of federal capital trials) had only a 19% chance of being sentenced to death. Thus, the study concluded that defendants with low representation costs were more than twice as likely to receive a death sentence” http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty, said the report of the California Commission of the fair Administration of Justice. This proves that it would cost less for a person to live life in prison than to be sentenced for death row. Also, it is unfair to say what crime is punishable by death and what crime shouldn’t be. Since each state has their own policy, it is very controversial to say that a man who committed man slaughter should be put to death, when in fact it could have been an accident.

Mhernandez said...

I am completely against the death penalty so I may be a bit biased.
Arguement #1: It gives closure to the victim's family. People feel better once they know that the person who hurt their loved one got what they deserved and also that they are no longer living. They feel better once they know that they won't ever been seen again.
Arguement #2: The death penalty discourages the act of felonys and other wrong doings.

Against IT:
Arguement #1: I believe being sentenced to life in prison would be worse than being sentenced to death. Reason being your life becomes hell while in prison; that is unless your the top thug in prison. Bad things happen in prison. If your sentenced to death it will all be over soon, and there is simply no more suffering left. Once your dead your conscience isn't beating you up for what you did anymore.

Example #2: Life, Liberty , and the pursuit of happiness is what we are granted once we are born in the United States. Although I'm sure those natural rights are conditional. I just don't think life should be conditional. I will also add in that there is no credible evidence that capital punishment deters crime. Not only that, it is way more expensive than keeping them alive. Some may say that without death penalty our prisons will be over crowded; if we have more prisons than we do schools I'm sure we will have enough space for more inmates.

"Death Penalty : Facts." Death Penalty : Facts. Deathpenalty.org, 31 Mar. 2009. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .

Sharp, Dudley. "Death Penalty Paper." Pro-death Penalty.com. Justice For All, 05 Oct. 2001. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .

AFlores said...

My two arguments for capital punishment is the closure for families and it helps to let people who are already sentence for capital punishment to not commit to any crimes while in prison. When one is being sentence to capital punishment, families of the victim can finally get some justices for the one they have loss. Also the crime committed can fit the crime because if one does a heinous crime, they punishment should be the same. For inmates already in their sentence, these are the ones who would not contribute to upheld the prison but instead try to behave while in sentencing.
My two arguments against capital punishment are the that there is no real closure for families because if a person is murder, a family can never find true closure, the family’s victim is still dead. Another reason against capital punishment is that it costs more in taxes to be giving supplies for those in death row then those who are not holding a life sentence. When it comes to taking care those who are waiting for the death pertly to enact, it is an estimate of 2-5 times more to pay those in death road. Because of these two arguments, I am against capital punishment. Moreover, the country will be a hypocrite because if one kills another then one is being put to death then this shows the country as hypocrites. Furthermore since the 1970s, there have been more then 100 inmates who were put in death row that were wrongfully accused. This shows that those who were imprisoned have lost years of their lives and then have trouble to return to “normal life.”

Work Citied:
Messerli, Joe. “ Should the death plenty be banned from a form of punishment?.” Balancedpolitics.org. 26 March 2012

Bedeau, Hugo. “ The Case Against the Death Plenty.” ACLU. 2011. 26 March 2012

Ericka Montoya said...

I am against capital punishment. I believe putting someone on death row is the easy way out. If someone committed a crime they should not be given the right to get out of their problem easily. I do think prisons need to be changed because a prisoner has food and shelter, even though they committed a crime. Also, I am against capital punishment because of the cost of death row. A lot of time and money go into trials to execute prisoners and sometimes they can’t pay the lawyers the amount they were supposed to. “Most of these costs occur in every case for which capital punishment is sought, regardless of the outcome. Thus, the true cost of the death penalty includes all the added expenses of the "unsuccessful" trials in which the death penalty is sought but not achieved. Moreover, if a defendant is convicted but not given the death sentence, the state will still incur the costs of life imprisonment, in addition to the increased trial expenses.” Sometimes people are innocent and I do not believe it is right to take their life away, either way it is the easy way out of prison. What if the person is mentally ill? “Since 1983, over 60 people with mental illness or retardation have been executed in the United States.” I do not believe that is right. People deserve a second chance, sometimes mistakes happen.
In some cases I am for capital punishment. I believe that if someone was in prison for many years and was released they would feel out of place and they would want to commit another crime. If someone was away from society for years they would not be able to adjust to this change. I believe they would want to commit a crime because it would be very hard for them to get a job and it would be very easy to want to commit another crime to go back to prison just because they have all that they need; it’s their home and it is all that they know. Also, some people are evil and I do believe they should be put on death row because they could be making plans on a future crime. I do believe a crime is a crime, and someone should not decide which is worse but in some cases it is better for the community and it is worth the time and money.

"Capital Punishment." TheFreeDictionary.com. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .
The New York Times. The New York Times. Web. 26 Mar. 2012. .

leahmillerr said...

Leah Miller
Mr. Palo
P. 3

I support Capitol Punishment. If someone has been on trial for a serious crime and there is evidence that is supported by DNA i feel that they should be considered for the death penalty. One argument for capitol punishment is state that are more urbanized and that have the death penalty do have more crimes than states with out the death penalty. The states with high crime rates and the death penalty also have higher populations and more cities. Another argument for the death penalty is that it gives closure to the victim's families who have suffered so much.
An argument against the death penalty is the financial costs to taxpayers of capital punishment is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. Another Argument is the endless appeals and they clog our court system.

Sources: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/death_penalty.htm

MÉLISSA said...

Having the question asked, i believe that the capital punishment is something that should be effective. Many people kill for fun and enjoy the fear of others.They repeat their crimes over and over. Why keep them in a cell where later on the road they can plea and probably end up free. There goes the repetition. Its disturbing to say that they should have their life taken,but if its accurate that they have committed the crime why not? Your preventing another crime to be committed. Also, they say that its least effective but in the countries that has a higher murder rate could also be the cause of the population rate. The percentage can't be the same because every country has a different population. I truly believe that families would have more closure and people would feel more safe if the people who have committed and have been proved would be punished by the capital punishment. They have put themselves in that postion and should be punished for their actions.

Sources: http://www.balancedpolitics.org/death_penalty.htm

Jackie_Flores said...

I am for the death penalty because the person who committed the crime deserves the death penalty as a punishment. I agree with capital punishment because it doesn’t matter what age you are if you have the will to murder someone I think its only fair for you to be on death row.
I also disagree on how our government deals with people and handles the process. In new jersey tax payers have paid more than a quarter billion dollars on a capital punishment system and no one has been executed. I think that is ridiculous. Also, I think its not fair how innocent people get sentenced to the death penalty but they didn’t commit the crime. I think there are so many wrong things on how the death penalty works. But I do agree that people do deserve to get the death penalty no matter how old they are. They should judge them on the crime they commit.

Works Cited
"Death Penalty Focus." Death Penalty. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. .
"Death Penalty ProCon.org." Death Penalty ProCon.org. 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2012. .