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The National Law Journal, reviewing capital cases in six Southern states, reported that defense lawyers are often “ill-trained, unprepared and grossly underpaid”.
Whether someone convicted of a capital crime receives a death sentence depends greatly on the state or county in which the trial and conviction takes place. In some states a death sentence is rare. Connecticut had 5 people on death row in 1999 and Kansas only 2. Southern states, particularly Texas (443 death row inmates in 1999), hand down significantly more death sentences than those in the rest of the country do. California, the state
with the largest penal system, had 513 inmates on death row in the spring of 1999.
In some states, inmates can be executed for crimes they committed at the age of 16; in others, only those who committed murder at age 18 or older are eligible for the death penalty. Some states, but not all, ban the
execution of people with mental retardation.
Finally, when a person who had committed a crime is sentenced to death, he/she can be executed by using 1 of 5 methods of execution that are currently authorized by states and federal government.
I. Lethal injection: As of yearend 1998, execution by lethal injection was authorized by statute in 34 states and by the federal government.
II. Electrocution: As of yearend 1998, execution by electrocution was authorized by statute in 11 states.
III. Lethal Gas: As of yearend 1998, execution by lethal gas (gas chamber) was authorized by statute in 5 states.
IV. Hanging: As of yearend 1998, execution by hanging was authorized by statute in 3 states.
V. Firing Squad: As of yearend 1998, execution by firing squad was authorized by statute in 3 states.
The Future Of The Death Penalty
I cannot imagine myself being in a position of the relative of a murdered person. I cannot imagine what my feelings would be like in this situation and therefore it is difficult to say whether the death penalty is or is not appropriate solution for a person who had committed a crime. However, in a very theoretical way (supposing there are no personal feelings that could be taken into consideration) I am strongly opposed to it. Although I am not a religious man I know that the way of a person endowed with life should not be ended by another person or a group of persons who called themselves the state, county, society etc. However, the reality is different – not all people think of it in the same way. Speaking about the USA, in numbers of people executed annually, it far exceeds the other 94 documented countries and territories that continue to deliver the death penalty. However, according to one research made among American people, not all of them stand for a capital punishment.
Zdroje: www.uaa.alaska.edu/just/death, www.fdp.dk
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