How Death Penalty Information is Made Available to the Public
The death penalty, also called capital punishment, is the state-sanctioned practice of intentionally killing someone as retaliation for a real or imagined crime. Usually, this occurs after a formal, procedure-driven investigation that determines the defendant is accountable for breaking the laws that call for the punishment in question.
There are various ways to learn more about the death penalty. These include the Internet, in print, and through the media.
A government-sanctioned death penalty is unjust and violates human rights. It also wastes money and can lead to wrongful convictions.
Information is available on the Internet
The Internet is a powerful tool for public information on various topics, including capital punishment. Many organizations have websites that contain important information and links to other sites on the subject. In addition, general search tools for Internet documents can be helpful when trying to find material about specific issues.
Several nonprofit organizations focus on reducing the use of the death penalty, promoting alternatives to the death penalty, and advocating for the dismissal of wrongfully convicted prisoners.
Several state-based sites contain valuable information about the death penalty in their states. The sites also link government publications on crime and the criminal justice system.
Information is available in print
While a plethora of information is available on the Internet, many of the best sources of this type of data are available in print. Printed documents can be found at libraries and other academic and research institutions, as well as at the local newsstand or bookstore.
For example, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) produces an impressive array of resources on capital punishment. These include Year End Reports, In-Depth Reports, and Special Reports. The DPIC also produces several books and other publications to help researchers, policymakers, and the public understand this complicated issue.
The interactive chart in the paper, which shows how the death penalty has drastically decreased in the US since the mid-1990s, is its most significant component. New death sentences have fallen by 85%, while executions have plummeted by 75%.
One of the essential pieces of information to know about the death penalty is that it should be abolished, as this practice cheapens the value of life and contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society. In addition, it is a practice that fosters vengeance and violates human rights laws.
The “mitigation of the crime of murder” has been a longstanding concern of law enforcement and prosecutors. Still, it is also one of the most controversial aspects of our criminal justice system. In response, several states have adopted moratoriums on the death penalty, while others are replacing it with other, more appropriate sentences.
Information is available in person
Whether the death sentence is, a suitable reaction to violent crimes is a topic of much discussion. But in practice, it remains a powerful tool for some, with 16 states carrying out the lethal penalty on at least one of their citizens. Unfortunately, it has also been shown to produce many other adverse outcomes, from the scourge of incarceration to the dreaded crime of recidivism.
A recent study found that support for the death penalty was consistently higher in online surveys than in phone-based polls. That said, the most accurate way to measure public opinion is through a face-to-face discussion with people in the know, such as law enforcement and legal professionals. It is particularly true in states where the death penalty is legal. The same is true for the countries that still have it on the books. Obtaining information from non-biased sources is another smart move.
Information is available through the media
The media is essential for many who wish to understand the death sentence. Some information is available online, and other research is published in print.
Most of the information available through the media comes directly from organizations opposing the death penalty.
Information on the death penalty ensures the international community adopts and upholds standards against capital punishment in all countries. It includes supporting the efforts of abolitionist groups at the national, regional, and global levels.
Although the death penalty is imposed on various crimes, its use is disproportionately applied to people of color and those from racial minorities. Moreover, it starkly contrasts international norms and standards, which call for the highest degree of due process for convicted defendants.
The resulting disproportionate use of the death penalty violates the UN Convention on Human Rights.
It starkly contrasts international standards, which call for the highest degree of deterrence and due process for convicted defendants. In addition, prosecutors often seek the death penalty after failing to prove that the defendant committed their crime with malice or could not demonstrate that the death penalty would serve any useful purpose in rehabilitating them.
The death penalty severely violates international law and standards and must be abolished. It is inherently cruel, arbitrary, and ineffective. Additionally, it breaks everyone’s right to life and disproportionately affects people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds or who identify as members of ethnic, racial, or religious minorities.