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Soc M138-death penalty

by: Freddie816

Soc M138-death penalty Sociology M138

GPA 3.3

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lecture on capital punishment`
Death, suicide and trauma
Class Notes
soc, m138, capital, punishment, Death, suicide, Trauma
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Freddie816 on Wednesday May 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Sociology M138 at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Timmermans in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Death, suicide and trauma in Sociology at University of California - Los Angeles.

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Date Created: 05/18/16
    5/18/16  ● Why study the Death penalty? (tough on crime message)   ○ The death penalty is interesting because, similar to gang homicide, the death  penalty is a form of punishment and more likely to target black men   ● Early history   ○ In the 17th­18th century, a long list of crimes were established that resulted in  the  death penalty. The death penalty was an idea brought from the English as a form  of punishment for committing moral crimes i.e­beastiality. This practice was  dominant among the south towards slaves  ● Rationalities for capital punishment (CP)­1700’s  ○ Deterrence  ­CP was a an attempt to deter crimes by eliminating criminals. This  was usually done by lynching in public in order to instill moral values and teach  moral lessons to the audience, especially among children. CP was originally  believed to be punishing people for something that was inherently wrong with them  and therefore non fixable.   ○ Retribution­ holds the criminal responsible for his action, ie­sentenced and not  allowed to talk   ○ Penitence­ by putting those to death, we allowed them to save their soul by  repenting their sins   ● Hanging day  ○ Process of putting one to death was very ritualized and sent a message to the  audience, children were encouraged to come, rituals instilled messages of  terror­order. The idea of this public event was to make the criminal repent his sins  and pray for God’s forgiveness. Additionally, this was a mechanism used to  express disapproval towards violence and crime. ’  ● Degrees of death   ○ Hanging as a reference point, meant to instill fear and mercy   ○ More severe: burned to death (violate integrity of body and condemns soul),  dissect and Gibbet (hanging in metal cages)  ● Origins of opposition 1780’s­90’s  ○ Juries refuse to convict bc they believe that CP is too extreme of a punishment   ○ Changing morality of retribution: how do we save others by killing them?  ○ Beccaria’s essay on crime and punishment  ■ State does not have the right to kill its citizens  ■ This is not effective­criminals are not scared from committing crimes  ■ It is more effective if we force criminals into labor or imprison them   ■ We must deter prospective criminals by educating them   ○ Some states reduce their crimes, not for slaves   ● Invention of the prison   ○ New technology for crime, gives a different viewpoint of the criminal  ■ Criminal is mentally ill and needs to be re­educated through imprisonment   ■ Crime is part of the environment (depends on your friends, where you grow  up etc), rather than inherent   ○ Prison is a place for repentance that does not lead to death      5/18/16  ○ Problem­the bible  ■ A lot to say against CP  ■ Focuses on forgiveness and not punishment   ○ North: move away from deterrence and retribution, focuses on helping criminals  ○ 1820­50: some states in the North abolish CP  ■ Punish in different ways   ○ The south retained CP for slaves but not for whites   ● Seclusion of death 1830­1930   ○ CP goes from a public event to the jail yard. By making CP public, ppl were getting  the wrong message, became blood thirsty and women were traumatized   ○ The jail yard diminishes the role of religion  ○ New public involvement: press, celebrated trials, involvement in clemency  decisions  ○ Capital punishment brought people together by making events public in  which criminals asked for God’s forgiveness   ● Technological changes   ○ The successfulness of hanging varied, some people were accidentally  decapitated→ media puts focus on suffering of the criminal   ○ Electrocution practiced in 15 states 1888­1913  ○ Gas chamber adopted in 1921­1925  ○ These technologies lead to less communal involvement, thus more specialized and  less publicly involved  ○ Repentance was removed from public views  ● Decline of CP  ○ 199 executions in 1935 and 0 in 1968  ■ CP is not protecting people by punishing criminals for a genetic issue  ■ Crime is hereditary and a cause of environment­criminals must learn to be  criminals, it is not inherent→ mental illness or alcohol­people cannot control  their actions   ■ Life in prison is a much bigger punishment than a quick death   ■ No more retribution and deterrence   ● Supreme court  ○ 1972­CP is ruled as unconstitutional, related to the 8th amendment (cruel and  unusual punishment)   ○ Racial discriminating   ○ Many more appeals and clemency  ○ This suggests that the death penalty was not a fair thing internationally  ● Resurrection of CP  ○ Classes of crime are defined as worthy of CP  ○ Jury discretion is limited  ○ Sentences and executions rise quickly  ○ 32 states and federal government have capital statutes since 1976   


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