Death Sentence Supreme Court Analysis

Gregg claimed that the jury had imposed the death sentence in a freakish and wanton way, but the sentence was upheld because it was felt that the jury’s attention had been correctly focused both on the actual nature of the crime committed and upon the character of the person committing it. Atkins had an I. Q. of only 59. The Supreme Court reversed the sentence because they said that courts had tended to be more lenient towards those with low intelligence after the 1989 case of Penry v Lynaugh They quoted the 8th Amendment and ‘evolving standards of decency’.

Coker, while serving a sentence for murder, escaped and raped a woman. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the rape, but the Supreme Court ruled that the sentence was an excessive one for such a crime. Ring was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. A judge later changed this to the death sentence. This was overruled because the plaintiff had made no further admissions nor had new evidence been presented to a jury. Roper was under 18 when he committed murder, but was sentenced to death once that age had been attained.

The Supreme Court quoted the 8th and 14th Amendments as proof that it was unconstitutional to execute someone for a crime committed as a minor. In the case of Baze v Rees the decision was based upon the use of lethal injection, which the Supreme Court judged to be humane. The Kennedy case was one of rape against an 8 year old girl (Kennedy’s step daughter). The crime was not intended, nor resulted, in the child’s death so the Supreme Court ruled against the death sentence. This was despite Louisiana having a law giving the death sentence for rape of a child under 12.

The Louisiana statute was said to be unconstitutional. 3. Distinguish between the different purposes of a workhouse, a house of correction, a goal, and a hulk. Workhouses first came into operation in Scotland and then in England in the late 16th and very early 17th centuries. They were instituted by acts of parliament as a means of providing both shelter and employment (almost entirely of an unskilled and very laborious nature) to those who could not provide for themselves. The Scottish Act of 1579 refers to the Impotent Poor and the English one of 1601 followed.

(The countries were not at that time united) In these places the sexes were strictly divided until the 20th century, but there were other divisions too. These were, according to Lynda Langford in her article of 2001, ‘The Reality of the Workhouse’:- 1. Aged or infirm men. 2. Able-bodied men, and youths above 13 years. 3. Youths and boys above seven but under 13 years old. 4. Aged or infirm women. 5. Able-bodied women and girls above 16 years old. 6. Girls above seven years old, but under 16 years old. 7. Children under 7 years of age. They would include a ward for vagrants.

Provision was made for the elderly who were no longer capable of providing for themselves, because there was no system of pensions at the time. They were run on a parish basis, with each parish being required to care for its own people. This meant that they were reluctant to provide for those just passing through and made life very uncomfortable for them. There were even recorded cases of women in late pregnancy being hounded over a parish boundary so that someone else would be responsible for her unborn child according to Peter Higginbottom on the web site Workhouses.

The system was finally ended in the United Kingdom in 1930, by which time other means of provision had become available. A similar system operated in the United States of America. Houses of Correction The term House of Correction is still being used, as in the recently built Bristol County Jail and House of Correction, Massachusetts. The dictionary definition is a place of confinement for those convicted of minor offences. Originally jails were just places where people were confined until they came to trial and awaited sentence.

Confinement was not the punishment. Over time this changed as people were no longer sentenced to flogging and other such physical punishments. The term suggests a regime where the person confined is helped in some way to correct his or her behavior and so become a responsible member of society. Goal or Jail This is a place of confinement for adult offenders. The confinement serves as a punishment, but also to keep people who may be considered dangerous away from the general public.

Modern goals however may also include training, rehabilitation and addiction programs in their set up and may include remand wings for those awaiting trial who have not been granted permission to do so in their own homes for some reason. In the past prisons served other purposes, for example keeping confined of people captured in war as in the Stalags of Nazi Germany in the Second World War. Hulks Hulks were large ships no longer in active service that were used to hold prisoners of war as when French prisoners of War were housed during the Napoleonic Wars.

They would be moored in the middle of wide rivers of just off shore. They were cheap as the structure was more or less instantly available and would otherwise serve no purpose. They were designed to hold large numbers of men and because of where they were it would be relatively easy to control any possible escape routes. References Electronic Sources Death Penalty, ProCon. org, 10th June 2008, retrieved 17th July 2009 http://deathpenalty. procon. org/viewresource. asp? resourceID=1769#2 DiMarisini and Wolfe, Bristol House of Correction and County Jail, retrieved 16th July 2009 from http://www.

dimarinisiandwolfe. com/Bristol. htm Higginbottom, P. , Workhouses, retrieved 16th July 2009 from http://www. workhouses. org. uk/ Is the Death Sentence Constitutional? This Nation. com retrieved 14th July 2009 from http://www. thisnation. com/question/018. html Langford, L. , The Reality of the Workhouse, (2001) , Suite 101. com, Retrieved 16th July 2009 Pfeifer, W. ,( July 2008), What is pre-trial diversion? , Suite 101 . com, Retrieved 10th July 2009 from http://peacesecurity. suite101. com/article. cfm/what_is_pretrial_diversion