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Death Penalty Trends

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Over the last 10 years the number of new death sentences and executions has steadily decreased. Berry (2010) suggests that there are two reasons for the decline. First of all, there is an ever increasing number of the discovery of innocent people on death row. Through the use of DNA evidence, during the past decade several people who were on death row were exonerated. A second reason for the decline of the use of the death penalty has been the use of alternative sentencing; life without parole.

Given the rise in these two phenomena, do you think that the death penalty is on its way to extinction?

When its comes to offenders that sells drugs are getting more time in jail, then someone who murders someone else. Why do you think that is happening?

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Solution Preview

It seems there are two questions here.

As for the first question, it doesn't seem clear that the death penalty is on its way towards extinction, as much as it is on its way to major refinement. What seems most rational, given historical trends and legal precedents, is that the death ...

Solution Summary

A few trends and peculiarities regarding the death penalty are touched upon in brief.

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Trends in Capital Punishment

One of the most controversial and current issues in criminal justice is capital punishment.

As of November, 2012, thirty-three states and the Federal government allow the use of the death penalty. Since 2007, four states have abolished the death penalty, and the rate of executions in the states that allow it has slowed dramatically. Several states have bills pending that have the potential to end or limit the use of capital punishment in those states.

Prepare a 3 Page report in a Microsoft Word document on the death penalty that covers the following points:

Illinois is one of the states that recently abolished the death penalty. Prior to making the change in the law, the governor had simply stopped signing death warrants. For what reason did the governor decide to stop approving executions? Was his reason valid? Explain your reasoning.
Describe the "Innocence Project," including its goals and procedures. Is this group effective?
Consider the recent Supreme Court cases of Roper v. Simmons and Atkins v. Virginia. Do these decisions indicate a trend? What can you surmise about future challenges to the death penalty, based on the current Court's recent decisions?
Last, summarize the case of Stanley "Tookie" Williams:

What were his crimes?
Why his execution was considered controversial?
After analyzing the case, indicate whether you support the decision to execute Williams and explain your reasoning.

Support your responses with examples.

Cite any sources in APA format.

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