Research Paper on Capital Punishment in Texas

The State of Texas is known for being the one who wears the most death penalty: in 2011 there were 43 executions in the United States, 13 took place in Texas. This state was the first to have implemented the method of execution globally recognized today by lethal injection on the person of Charles Brooks, Jr.

To be able to prepare a good research paper on the capital punishment in Texas, you should realize that this penalty can be imposed only by a jury of twelve persons none of whom shall be categorically opposed to the death penalty or be a too enthusiastic supporter of the death penalty deliberating to be unanimous to answer negatively to the accused and ten out of twelve to reply favorably. Jurors must answer two questions, the first request if there is a chance that the offender will commit a violent act in the future, making him a danger to society. The second asks whether regrets (moral culpability) or the personality of the criminal justify him to be sentenced to life imprisonment rather than the death penalty.

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If the answer to the first question is yes and that given to the second is no, the death penalty is imposed, otherwise it is life in prison. Insofar as jurors do not have to justify themselves and they know the consequences of their responses, we can consider that they are just guided within the parameters they must take into account. A third question is posed in the case where the accused is an instigator or accomplice to a crime and not the author itself (particularly in the case of contract killing or felony murder), it is then necessary that the jury considers that accused is actually committed the murder, either anticipated or wanted.

Although the capital punishment is widely approved in Texas, there is big debate about its application to child rapists and participants of crime where an accomplice commits murder. On the first application, the anti-death penalty groups protest because they fear that repeat offenders have no interest not to kill the victim or that the latter, if it is the victim of a relative, refuses to denounce him to not see him sentenced to death (the death penalty was finally declared unconstitutional in this case in 2008 by the U.S. Supreme Court (case Kennedy vs. Louisiana). For the second, even the Office of the Pardons Attorney which is usually pro-death sentence advised the Governor Rick Perry, by 6 votes against 1, pardon Kenneth Foster was to be executed in September 2007. Grace has been granted, the offender may be released, to spend forty years in prison. But this decision does not mean a rejection of the death penalty for accomplices to murder, in fact, the Office of the Pardons Attorney in 2008 unanimously recommended not to pardon Jeffrey Lee Wood, who is mentally disabled, however in addition to being accomplice.

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