Capital Sentencing
The classical statue of justice in many courts of law of a lady holding a pair of scales with one hand and a shiny sword, on the other hand, with the eyes blindfolded, represents the role a judge is expected to play during sentencing. A judge is expected to make a ruling that delicately gives justice to the victim, and rationally gives the proper punishment to the perpetrator (Shain, n.d.). The judge should not be prejudiced or biased to either the victim or perpetrator. Judgments passed in all court cases are documented and used by generations in future cases long after the judge who passed them is long gone. That is the reason why the decisions made by them should be delicate and blind, for they affect the present and future generations’ decisions regarding different matters.
The judge is mandated to listen to both sides of the cases in an open court. The petitioner, defender, witnesses, barristers, and prosecutors present themselves before the judge giving the information and evidence due to the case in question. Armed with all this information and evidence presented before them, the justice interprets the law, applies their own wisdom to it, uses previous case decisions, and then concludes making a ruling. The ruling depends on the jurisdiction, whether it is shared by the jury or a panel of other justices depending on the level of court the case is presented. Do My Assignment For Me UK: Class Assignment Help Services Best Essay Writing Experts – Another role when it comes to the criminal; investigation the judge can be the magistrate to examine the case in systems that are inquisitory. In capital sentencing cases, the judge plays a particularly important role in determining the appropriate punishment for the perpetrator. These cases involve crimes that are punishable by death, and the judge must carefully consider all relevant factors before issuing a sentence.

Research Paper Writing Service: Professional Help in Research Projects for Students – One important factor that the judge must consider is the severity of the crime. In order to justify a death sentence, the crime must be particularly heinous and involve elements such as premeditation, cruelty, or the intentional targeting of vulnerable individuals.

The judge must also consider the defendant’s criminal history, as well as any mitigating factors that may make a death sentence less appropriate. Mitigating factors could include things like the defendant’s age, mental health, or the role that they played in the crime.

Finally, the judge must also consider the impact of the crime on the victim and their family, and whether a death sentence would serve as a meaningful form of justice for them.
The jury plays a pivotal role in court cases in the country. It decides if probable cause has been achieved in a case and gives its verdict without being biased. There are two types of jury, the grand jury consisting of 16-23 persons and a petit jury consisting of a 6-12 member group. When it comes to capital cases, the grand jury is used because of the severity of the case before the court. In Articles 3 of the constitution of the United States, the seventh amendment and the sixth amendment arising from the federal court, gives an individual accused of a punishable crime by incarceration of more than six months, the constitutional right to a jury trial. The jury listens to the case from both the petitioner and defendant. The evidence presented should qualify to give an undoubtedly fair trial. The verdict given by the jury should be unanimous, with the majority vote being the final verdict. Though in some states, the final decision does not take the jury’s decision as final but take a plea bargain. A bench trial is held if the defendant waives the jury. In Rachal v Hill it is seen that the seventh amendment jury trial right severely limits improvements in the res judicata principle. It is conclusive to state that cases involving capital punishment, the grand jury reduces the number of perpetrators that face the death penalty.
Men and women are treated differently by the Justice system when it comes to facing death row. It seems that more men face death row than women. In research done by Strei, Cunningham & Vigen (2002) found that most women committing heinous murders that qualify for death row are mostly emotionally attached to their victims. Their crimes meet the Actus rea, mens rea, and causation properties quite clearly. Streib found that most of the women’s victims were husbands, lovers, or persons attached to their lovers or husbands. They noted that a woman’s drive to actually murder a person is very different from a man. A woman has a very deep emotional reason for her actions and feels they are justified to act in that manner though clearly against the law. Most commit the murders in the form of revenge for a crime they feel has been done against them like constant physical abuse or any kind of traumatic attack against themselves or their children or loved ones.
In men, it was found that they commit the harshest murders without any emotional attachments to the victims. Their drive to murder is not what the victim has done against them, rather they have an end goal they want to meet, and any victim standing in the way of their final goal succumbs to being killed. An example would be a money heist; if men are involved in a large bank robbery, and the criminals are both men and women, the male criminals would likely kill more victims than their female counterparts. The men’s drive is the end goal of getting the money, and any person standing in the way has to be killed. For the female criminals, they would rather tie up their victims to get them out of the way rather than kill them.
These two major comparisons between men and women make the justice system lean more towards giving more males the death row sentence than women. The fourteenth amendment clause on Equal protection is violated time and again in the justice system. We agree that more men face death row than women, and different courts give their verdicts differently. Imposing the death penalty to an individual is capricious. There is no right way to make it easier for the defendant to accept it. It is harsh to both men and women, and most countries have abolished it. The United States also should abolish it and make amendments to the laws that support it (Shapiro, 1989).
The race of the victim or race of the defendant has undoubtedly impacted the decisions made by the judges and the jury. In the state of Delaware, the years between 1997to 2007, the state shifted the decision to impose the death penalty from the jury to the judge. This increased the number of those facing the death sentence as compared to when the jury made that decision. It had brought to the light that the black defendants whose victims were white faced higher chances of getting the death penalty than when it was vise versa (Hans, Blume & Eisenberg, 2016).
There are many factors that lead an offender to commit a crime liable to death row. Race and gender are the most factors that play a big role, but also the prior criminal record and aggravating circumstances play a huge role. The perpetrator may be a career criminal that specializes in high-level crimes. A person who is a member of a gang or mafia, a terrorist, is highly experienced in such a crime. Such individuals, when caught, hold the highest probability to face death row than a person who committed a crime for the first time. The judge or jury has to go through the criminals’ file to find out the history of crimes committed by them to make a fair verdict.
Therefore, the quality of legal representation matters whether the defendant will face the death penalty or not like in Holland vs. Florida, the competence of the attorney really affected the outcome of the case (Stull, 2010). In the country, it does not matter the evidence produced by the petitioners’ side or what happened in the case; if the attorney does not give a proper defense, then the defendant will succumb to the death penalty.

Cunningham, M. D., & Vigen, M. P. (2002). Death Row Inmate Characteristics, Adjustment, and Confinement: A Critical Review of the Literature. Retrieved from
Hans, V. P., Blume, J. H., & Eisenberg, T. (2016). The Death Penalty Should The Judge or the Jury Decides Who Dies? Retrieved from
Shain, I. C. (n.d.). The Judge’s Role in Sentencing: Basic Considerations for Effective Sentences. Retrieved from
Shapiro, A. (1989). Unequal before the Law, Men and Women Death Penalty. Retrieved from
Stull, B. (2010, March 10). Good and bad lawyers determine who lives and who dies. Retrieved from

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