Capital punishment incorporates intentional killing of an individual suspected of committing a crime. Usually, capital punishment is reached when resolving murder or homicide cases. Execution of suspects has been carried out throughout history for a variety of crimes. However, there have been heated debates during recent times especially concerning whether capital punishments in the form of executions are justified and whether they should or should not be passed to criminals (Murtagh, 2005). Although it appears that the states that have the capital sentence in effect have more cases of crimes than those that do not have it, supporters of the executions present arguments that are easily refutable. With respect to the U.S. federal jurisdiction, there are several policies to be used before an individual is sentenced to death. Before the judgment is passed, the state must first provide sufficient evidence that helps in proving beyond reasonable doubt that the subject individual committed the said crime. Here, the federal jurisdiction requires that the state should prove at least one in the 16 aggravating circumstances. If the state fails to prove this, the defendant may be sentenced to between 45 and 65 years imprisonment (Death Penalty, 2010). Such cases must be taken seriously since the execution is permanent.
AIDitionally, the defendants mental health must be put into consideration when passing the judgment. This is because if an individual is found to be ailing mentally, death penalty is exempted. Moreover, the policies also consider age. If at the time of the crime the individual was at least 16 years, the most probable sentence is life sentence without parole, and if the defendant was at least 18 years of age, death sentence may be offered. However, in such situations, the individual must be mentally healthy (Indiana death penalty laws, n.d.). The jurisdiction also requires that the decision to pass death sentence be unanimous. Such policies ensure that these critical cases are handled appropriately. However, so as to improve the effectiveness of the death sentence and avoid executing the wrong individuals, one recommendation is important: instead of asking the state to prove at least one aggravating circumstance, this number should be increased to at least half of the aggravating circumstances in the statute.
Capital punishment has worked effectively in certain instances in the federal jurisdiction and failed in others. If the appropriate policies are followed, then it is effective in contrast to when the pre-determined rules are not followed. If the state is able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the identified crime, then offering death penalty is effective in reaching the most appropriate conclusion or solution (Indiana death penalty laws, n.d.). However, at other instances it is ineffective. For instance, in some states, it is said that the capital punishment is kept aside for the racial minorities, those who cannot hire a good attorney to resolve the case and for the retarded individuals. This would mean that certain individuals are sentenced to death unfairly and therefore it would be ineffective. In the federal jurisdiction, ineffective means if it favors the rich and oppresses the poor. In the same jurisdiction, capital punishment would be termed as effective if it reaches the anticipated results. The state expects to reduce the rates of capital crimes through imposing death penalties. However, statistical data show that crime in the states that have the death penalties is on the rise. This indicates that the intended goal is not achieved; therefore, capital punishment under the federal jurisdiction is ineffective.
Death Penalty. (2010). Retrieved from
Indiana death penalty laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Murtagh, K. (2005). Punishment. Retrieved from
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