Click here if you want to be notified when the site has been updated This website is dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty in the USA. It is not run by an organization, just by me, and I hope that you will find it useful and that it will provide you some food for thought, even if you are a proponent for the death penalty or you oppose it like I do.
The Death Penalty Today: National Press Club Washington, D.
Since the Supreme Court lifted its moratorium on the death penalty 30 years ago, 38 states and the federal government have reinstated capital punishment. In recent years, there has been a nationwide debate over the proper application, morality and constitutionality of the death penalty.
Some argue that there are systemic flaws in its application and that those on death row are disproportionately poor, mentally ill or African-American. Abolitionists claim that if the death penalty can not be applied justly in all cases, it should not exist at all.
Those in the pro-death penalty camp claim that abolitionists ignore the individual circumstances of each case and that some crimes are so heinous that the only appropriate punishment is death. Furthermore, they argue that the existence of the death penalty deters violent crime.
The Pew Forum, together with the Federalist Society and the Constitution Projectheld an event examining the application, morality and constitutionality of the death penalty in the United States, focusing on issues such as habeas corpus review, clemency, the Eighth Amendment and adequate defendant representation.
Department of Justice, Washington, D. The Constitution Project is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that conducts public education and research on controversial constitutional law and governance issues.
These issues include our system of checks and balances, the balance between liberty and security after Sept. The Federalist Society is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in law and public policy. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom and that it is the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
The Society seeks to promote an awareness of these principles and to further them through its activities. The Pew Forum is part of the Pew Research Center and its mission is to provide timely information on important issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs.
The Forum is nonpartisan in nature and does not take positions on any topics. Though neither the Pew Forum nor the Federalist Society takes positions on policy issues, the Constitution Project does through our bipartisan committees of distinguished and expert Americans.
We have available for you out front our consensus recommendations for reforms issued by our Death Penalty Initiative, which consists of both supporters and opponents of capital punishment, all of whom believe that the system is badly broken and that the risk of convicting and even executing the wrong people is too great.
The death penalty is certainly a hotly contested issue, and in recent years Americans have witnessed a parade of exonerated individuals, including who were sentenced to death. The number of death sentences is down, as is the number of actual executions.
Support for the death penalty has decreased as Americans grow increasingly aware that the criminal justice system makes mistakes and that not only have innocent people been convicted of crimes, but in a continuing tragedy the true perpetrators have remained free to commit more crimes.
Our panelists today represent a fascinating array of views on this topic. They will each make opening statements for seven to eight minutes, and then we will invite questions from the audience.
So I will briefly introduce all of them now and then they will speak in the order that was agreed to previously.
Cantu was executed in ; recent events indicate that he was very likely innocent. Dean Starr has represented two clients of death row.
And fourth will be William Otis, a longtime public servant who has served in the White House and as an assistant U. Otis is speaking today in his individual capacity. So after their brief opening statements we will invite questions from the moderator and the audience.
But I do consider it a privilege and in fact a responsibility for me to address this issue and do so, I hope, in a responsible way.
I came to Washington with an approach to this topic that was going to be somewhat clinical, and that changed last night. I was lucky enough to see a wonderful exchange that was hosted by the Constitution Project on consensus-building and then to go from there to the Holocaust Remembrance Project dinner.
The combination of those two events back to back was for me absolutely profound.The death penalty Despite the official or even de facto abolition of the death penalty in many countries, accompanied by broader international efforts towards its total abolition, including within the United Nations human rights system, a number of States continue to use it, notably here to punish some convicted terrorists.
Watch all the videos that have been restricted by YouTube. Wondering why our ideas are being suppressed? Us, too. Apr 27, · The moral case for the death penalty has more to do with the increasingly amoral nature of society: one that was once cemented by a social contract grounded in natural law .
The United States was an early adopter of a death penalty moratorium. However, after about a decade long suspension of executions in the country, it now persists as one of the largest countries still using capital punishment.
Of the five justices voting to overturn the death penalty, two found that capital punishment was unconstitutionally cruel and unusual, while three found that the statutes at issue were implemented in a random and capricious fashion, discriminating against blacks and the poor.
Religious Morality and Discrimination. Meanwhile, back in America, the Little Sisters of the Poor were preparing their legal ashio-midori.com Roman Catholic order of nuns first came to America in and were welcomed in every city they entered.