About

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /usr/www/users/depic2/hscurr/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.

Testimony in Opposition to the Death Penalty: Arbitrariness

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Inc. Excerpt from "Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice & the Death Penalty," (Marlowe & Company, 1996)

The death penalty is applied unfairly and should not be used: Agree

 

Click for testimony | Click for other side

 

In practice, the death penalty does not single out the worst offenders. Rather, it selects an arbitrary group based on such irrational factors as the quality of the defense counsel, the county in which the crime was committed, or the race of the defendant or victim.

Testimony In Favor of the Death Penalty on Innocence


Paul G. Cassell
Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah, College of Law, and former law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Statement before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights Concerning Claims of Innocence in Capital Cases (July 23, 1993)

Testimony in Opposition to the Death Penalty: Innocence

Gerald Kogan, Former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice
Excerpts from a speech given in Orlando, Florida, October 23, 1999

Testimony on Retribution Against the Death Penalty


National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
Excerpts from “To End the Death Penalty: A Report of the National Jewish/Catholic Consultation” (December, 1999)

A just society requires the death penalty for the taking of a life: Disagree

Click for testimony | Click for other side

Retribution is another word for revenge. Although our first instinct may be to inflict immediate pain on someone who wrongs us, the standards of a mature society demand a more measured response.

Testimony on Retribution In Favor of the Death Penalty

Louis P. Pojman
Author and Professor of Philosophy, U.S. Military Academy. Excerpt from "The Death Penalty: For and Against," (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998)

“[Opponents of the capital punishment often put forth the following argument:] Perhaps the murderer deserves to die, but what authority does the state have to execute him or her? Both the Old and New Testament says, “'Vengeance is mine, I will repay,' says the Lord” (Prov. 25:21 and Romans 12:19). You need special authority to justify taking the life of a human being.

A just society requires the death penalty for the taking of a life: Agree

Click for testimony | Click for other side

When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence. Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind.