Capital Punishment: Deflecting Abolition

Abstract

Capital punishment is an issue fraught with controversy and competing opinions. Recently, media stories of wrongful convictions and the use of DNA technology have emerged. Reports about death row defendantsfreed after discovery of exculpatory evidence are causing some in the public to doubt that continued use of the death penalty is justified. Despite these problems, opinion polls show that the public favors capital punishment; if the public did not, there would be little reason for its continued use. This paper contends that wrongfully convicted defendants and state governments have entered into a “race” to the U.S. SupremeCourt. Unless the present problems are fixed, the Supreme Court will be justified in ending the death penalty. The Innocence Project assists inmates seeking exoneration by using DNA evidence. State legislators arerevising death penalty statutes to incorporate language about DNA evidence. DNA technology has made it possible for error to be substantially reduced. To test this argument, the paper applies the theories of CharlesEpp (1998) and Idit Kostiner (2003). The paper answers the question of whether it will be innocent defendants or state legislators who win the “race” and explains why they will win.
Published
2017-02-24
How to Cite
. Capital Punishment: Deflecting Abolition. Hinckley Journal of Politics, [S.l.], v. 5, feb. 2017. ISSN 2163-0798. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/HJP/article/view/3727>. Date accessed: 24 mar. 2019.
Section
Student Papers