SC CRJU 101 - Final Exam Study Guide (11 pages)

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Final Exam Study Guide



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CRJU 101 1nd Edition Exam 4 Study Guide Lectures 17 21 Chapter 9 Research on the deterrent effect of the death penalty Deterrence through fear of punishment stop people from committing a crime General Deterrence People don t commit homicide because they re afraid to get the death penalty cant prove this People might not know what crimes constitute the DP Deterrence the philosophy and practices that emphasize making criminal behavior less appealing General Deterrence the concept based on the logic that people who witness the pain suffered by those who commit crimes will want to avoid that pain and will refrain from criminal activity Furman vs Georgia in 1972 the US Supreme Court effectively banned the use of the death penalty This case issued the most significant ruling regarding the DP Furman argued that the only common element in executions was not the crime but the socioeconomic and racial characteristics of the offenders poor and African American The supreme court agreed and all DP sentences were suspended until the state could prove the DP was applied fairly The DP was reinstated 4 years later in Gregg vs Georgia Two key points 1 It did not declare that the DP was unconstitutional only that the manner in which it was applied was unconstitutional 2 All states were required to submit proof to the US Supreme court that their use of the DP was fair equitable and proportional to the crime In this effect this ruling voided all existing death penalties and DP laws Every prisoner in every state under the DP was given a reprieve This required the DP to be reexamined As a result of this ruling each state that wanted to keep the DP as a sanction had to submit legislation to the Court for approval prior to resuming the use of the DP Some states chose to abolish the DP Gregg vs Georgia required a bifurcated trial structure This required that trials for capital offenses had to be conducted in two separate parts In the first part of the trial the jury determines the guilt of the defendant In the second part of the trial after the defendant has been convicted additional evidence can be introduced relevant to the punishment appropriate for the crime Prior to 2002 although it was common to allow the jury to exclude the DP as an appropriate sanction for the crime in some states the judge determined whether the defendant was sentenced to death Wilkerson vs Utah an early appeal to the US Supreme court based on the 8 amendment Wilkerson appealed to the Court that his sentence of death by firing squad was cruel and unusual but the Court upheld the constitutionality of the sentence th The Innocent Convicted The DP is final and cannot be reversed or corrected An apology by the CJS for the wrongful execution of a prisoner is insufficient and does not restore the injustice done or heal the harm to innocent people Lena Baker o The only woman ever to be put to death in Georgia s electric chair o 60 years after she was executed the state of Georgia announced that it would posthumously pardon her o She was a 40 year old African American woman that was put to death for in 1945 for killing her employer who was a white man At her trial she contended that he held her as kind of a sex slave and she shot him self defense as he was attacking her with a crowbar o An all male all white jury convicted her of capital murder in a oneday trial and she was executed in less than a year o The Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole made it clear that the board did not find that Baker was not guilty of the crime but it did find that the decision to deny her clemency was a grievous error as this case is called out for mercy One study suggests that as many as 23 innocent defendants were executed between 1900 1988 however state officials do not acknowledge that any innocent defendant has ever been executed Partly as a result of DNA evidence many convicted prisoners are being freed from prison and death row The impact of DNA evidence combined with the recent revelations of official misconduct and corruption by police and prosecutors and allegations of racial discrimination has led many people to question the continued use of the DP as a fair and just punishment Official Misconduct and Error A study considering 12 cases published in the North Carolina Law Review found that the leading causes of wrongful convictions for murder were o False confessions and perjury by codefendants informants police officers or forensic scientists o Some have been convicted because of flawed forensic evidence o Some prisoners appear to have been wrongfully convicted because they were framed by the police and or prosecutors The three groups of people most likely to provide false confessions are those with o Mental retardation o Mental illness o Juveniles Malcolm Rent Johnson o Convicted of rape and murder in 1982 Johnson claimed he was innocent but forensic evidence disputed his protests of innocence Johnson was executed on January 6 2000 o An investigation a year later into the accuracy of the forensic chemist s testimony which was instrumental in convicting Johnson strongly suggests that she gave false testimony about the evidence Also the evidence suggests that there may be at least two other cases in which the results stated in the lab report and confirmed by the state s forensic chemist contradict independent expert reexamination of the actual evidence Ronald Jones o Said police had beaten a confession out of him was exonerated of charges of rape and murder Rolando Cruz o Convicted of murder and sentenced to death and a reexamination of his case resulted in his release o In addition charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice and to commit official misconduct were filed against the police and district attorney lawyers who prosecuted him Walter McMillian o Released in 1993 after 6 years on death row based on findings that the sheriff framed him for the murder Another example the investigation into the power of the LAPD officers in the Rampart division uncovered evidence that police framed numerous innocent citizens and obtained convictions on the basis of false evidence given by police officers Ways for a convicted person to obtain relief from death penalty under the claim of racial discrimination 1 The decision makers in the case acted with discriminatory intent 2 The legislature enacted or maintained the DP statute because of an anticipated racially discriminatory effect District Attorney s Office for the Third Judicial District vs Osborne the


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