To give a verdict for a case is too complex a task for a jury. How much more when the jury has to decide if death penalty will be issued? It involves a very tedious investigation and many factors have to be weighed before a death penalty will be decided upon by a jury. Usually, death penalty is issued on a capital case. A capital case is also called a death penalty case. For a person to be subjected to a capital case, the crime that he had committed must be under those crimes listed as special circumstances of the prosecutors. There are several acts to which they categorize as qualified for a capital case depending on the state.
Generally, death penalty is issued to those criminals who are with no doubt inclined to do heinous and violent crimes. This is the very core of the death penalty principle. When one is too inclined to do a cruel, heinous and atrocious crime, he is too dangerous to his surrounding and he is too dangerous to live. Thus, they created the death penalty to ensure that people who are categorized as those who are “born criminals” will not further harm anyone. However, there are too many arguments whether to impose a death penalty or not. For a jury, there must be substantial evidence linking the criminal to the crime.
And the crime has to be that violent, heinous and unacceptable for them to consider it as one of the special circumstances. Some jurors look at the mental state of the person to see if the person should be subjected to psychological treatment instead. Usually, the crimes done by those person who were given a death penalty as a sentence are serial criminals for it would be difficult to prove that a person is too inclined to violence and atrocity if he has done it once. Reference: Snead, Carter. "Neuroimaging and Capital Punishment," The New Atlantis, Number 19, Winter 2008, pp. 35-63.