The use of capital punishment has been limited in recent decades, although its history dates back over 4,000 years. Reforms in legislation, studies of past sentencing practices, vigilante watched by civil rights organizations, and Supreme Court rulings have all contributed to a system whose purpose is justice with a measure of mercy. Since Furman v. Georgia’s restoration in 1988, the federal death sentence has only been used 16 times: twice in 2001, once in 2003, 10 times in 2020, and three times in 2021. Presidents have enacted many moratoria as a temporary solution. Contrary to President Trump’s position, which favors doing federal executions, Vice President Joe Biden has instituted a moratorium on the death sentence at the United States Department of Justice.
Four current events on which the current debate topic, should the death penalty be allowed, is a focus.
Oregon’s Death Penalty
Upon taking office in 2015, Oregon Governor Kate Brown continued her predecessor’s moratorium on executions. In her final weeks in office, she reduced the verdicts of all 17 individuals on death row in the government. Alternatively, they would be sentenced to life without the possibility of release. The Democratic president made the pardon announcement on a Tuesday, and the commutations went into effect on Wednesday. And she made it clear that these commutations are not based on the rehabilitative efforts of the condemned inmates, as was the case with her earlier clemency grants. Rather, it represents the realization that the death sentence is unjust. Such kind of punishment cannot be and has never been administered properly and equitably, does not make communities safer, and does not allow correction. In addition to recognizing the victims’ suffering, she expressed hope that this change will bring us a significant step closer to conclusiveness in these cases; hence this is important for the debate.
USA Death Row
States that use the death penalty are detailed in Death Row USA, which provides information on the demographics of inmates on death row, the number of executions performed, the distribution of inmates by race and gender, and the status of any pending cases involving the death sentence.
Troy Davis’ Execution
The state of Georgia executed Troy Anthony Davis via lethal injection on September 21, 2011. Davis was put to death for the murder of a police officer despite his insistence that he was innocent. Seven witnesses who testified against him recanted their evidence in the months leading up to his execution, raising major concerns about his guilt. Davis was put to death by the state despite pleas from leaders of both parties, the NAACP, the Innocence Project, and Amnesty International. Davis told the world in an interview on the morning of his execution that the fight for justice would continue even after death. To all the Troy Davises who came before him and will come after them, this fight is for them. This event is important in this debate because Innocent Black Guys Are Still Getting Death Sentences Nine Years after Troy Davis’ Execution.
The execution of Thomas Edwin Loden Jr.
Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. was executed in Mississippi on December 14, 2022. Age-wise, he was in the 58-year bracket. Loden, a former recruiter for the United States Marine Corps, has expressed profound regret for the death of Gray, a high school junior. With his dying words, he admitted that he would never be able to undo the pain he caused by killing the adolescent. He claimed that for the last two decades, he had been trying to make up for the lives he had taken by performing a nice deed every day. He admitted that he knew that words couldn’t undo the harm he caused. This demonstrates his remorse and raises the controversial issue of whether or not to approve the death sentence.
Yes, side of the debate, should the Death Penalty Be Allowed??
People have argued over whether or not to allow the death penalty for some time. Others who believe the federal government should continue to carry out death sentences say doing so is necessary to deter crime and provide closure to victims’ families. The execution of Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. must have deterred crime before his execution, and he made it clear how even after death, he couldn’t undo the pain he caused after killing the adolescent. His death sentence and subsequent public statements deterred others from following in his criminal footsteps. Troy Davis’ Execution was necessary to deter others from the crime because he even threatened that other Troy Davises would come after him. His execution would deter the so-called other Troy Davises.
No side of the debate, should the Death Penalty Be Allowed??
Supporters of a nationwide ban on the death penalty say that the federal government should lead by example and ban the practice and that only a ban will prevent the next president from carrying out the executions of those currently on death row. If the federal government had banned the death penalty, innocent black guys would not still be getting death sentences nine years after troy Davis’ execution. According to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, such kind of punishment cannot be and has never been administered properly and equitably, does not make communities safer, and does not allow correction. In addition to recognizing the victims’ suffering, she expressed hope that this change will bring us a trivial step closer to conclusiveness in these instances.
Consideration must also be given to the situation of some very violent and fanatical terrorists. It’s possible that they won’t recognize the violence done to them as punishment. Instead, they can credit their bravery with bringing upon themselves the bodily suffering they are experiencing. The use of physical restraint in these situations is more akin to that used on wild animals and, thus, difficult to classify as punishment. It is essential for punishment to be effective that the offender recognizes the act as such. In one sense, the person being executed cannot be aware of the punishment because, once carried out, the death penalty logically implies the nonexistence of the person condemned. Insofar as we accept the conventional definition of the person as a moral and legal actor upon whom punishment could be imposed, however, punishment must be accompanied by the convict’s knowledge or understanding of the significance of the punishment. The investigation formed the viewpoint I completed this week. Everyone has a right to live, and some of those sentenced to death may be innocent. Once executed, a convict will have no way of knowing that they were denied information or understanding of the punishment’s meaning, which is required for any punishment.
Phillips, S., & Marceau, J. (2020). Whom the state kills. Harv. CR-CLL Rev., 55, 585.
Every person on death row executed in the U.S. in 2022. Every Person on Death Row Executed in the U.S. in 2022 | Defender Services Office – Training Division. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.fd.org/news/every-person-death-row-executed-us-2022
Selby, D. (2020, September 22). Nine years after the execution of Troy Davis, innocent black men are still being sentenced to death. Innocence Project. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://innocenceproject.org/troy-davis-pervis-payne-race-death-penalty/
Treisman, R. (2022, December 15). Oregon gov. Kate Brown explains why she commuted all of her state’s death sentences. NPR. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.npr.org/2022/12/15/1143002545/oregon-death-sentence-governor-kate-brown#:~:text=Kate%20Brown%20commuted%20all%20death%20sentences%20in%20the%20state%20%3A
Liam-Buckler. (2022, December 15). Man executed by lethal injection after raping then killing girl in 4-Hour ordeal. mirror. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/breaking-thomas-edwin-loden-jr-28733789