Early Stages of Death Penalty Case

The death penalty, or capital punishment, is a death sentence that the judicial system enforces as punishment for a person who has committed a crime. It is a long process to reach a death penalty verdict and the convicted inmate can wait for decades on death row before being executed, even after the handing down of the sentence. All court convictions, trials and cases begin with the arrest of a criminal.

Although laws vary from one state to another, the offense should typically be a sexual offense against some child or a murder, in order to be qualified for capital punishment. After being arrested, the offender is brought to court for a hearing or arraignment. This is the time that he is officially charged with a crime. Subsequently, the offender undergoes a sequence of court dates that can last for years.

After the formal charging of the offender, he will participate in a preliminary hearing in which the judge determines whether or not the case shows probable cause for continuation. If so, these charges will apply and there will be a court trial scheduled. Parts of the trial process are the selection of jury, opening statements by the defense and prosecution, testimony of witness and then closing arguments. The accused person will eventually need to enter an appeal of either guilty or not guilty. Now, the jury will discuss and then decide the innocence or guilt of the defendant. The final stage of a death penalty trial is the sentencing of the defendant to capital punishment.

Facts about its Early History

There are a lot of historians who have gathered several capital punishment facts that will support the fact that this type of penalty was utilized in some of the earliest civilizations of the world. There are a lot of evidences wherein the Greeks and the Romans have specific written laws about the application of the death penalty in their law and punishment system. In ancient times, capital punishment was applied not only by a large kingdom but it was also More...

Federal Offenses

All crimes at the federal level punished by the death penalty are murder plus other offenses, which may include drug-related shootings; civil rights offenses; sending of harmful items through mail for the purpose of killing; smuggling of aliens; destruction of facilities, vehicles or aircraft; delivery of explosives or destruction of any governmental property or property relevant to interstate/foreign commerce; and any offenses against marine navigation or fixed platforms. Aircraft hijacking, bank-robbery, use of mass destruction weapons, torture, sexual children exploitation, More...

Issues regarding Capital Punishment

The debate between allowing the sentencing of death penalty is still ongoing since people are really divided. Here are a couple of issues about capital punishment. • Wrong Convictions. With all the statistics stated in the capital punishment facts, there are still a lot of people who are scared about killing the wrong criminal. This is one of the issues that many governments really admit to be struggling with. • Costs. Not many people are aware of this but the More...

Pro or Anti

If you want to select a position over capital punishment issues, decide whether or not it is moral to sentence individuals to death. In case you believe that it is generally morally unacceptable, selecting a position over other issues about the capital punishment may not be difficult. But if you believe that the capital punishment is acceptable, then you need to consider a lot more issues. Decide whether or not the capital punishment prevents forthcoming crime more effectively than lifetime More...

Capital Punishment Facts

Death penalty, also referred to as capital punishment, is a term used for describing the act of depriving a person of life or putting him to death either to ensure that he cannot commit crimes in the future or as a retribution act, after legal system judgment. The term capital punishment comes from the Latin word capitalis which means head. It describes the fact that capital punishment historically involved losing the head of a person. At some point, most countries More...

Late Stages of Death Penalty Case

Because of the seriousness of the penalty, all capital punishment cases undergo a mandatory and automatic appeals process. It is during appeals that the defense and prosecution present their respective sides of the case. An appellate court will then review their statements. The defense will do everything to prove that his being convicted and/or sentenced was somehow unlawful or unfair. Appeals are typically based upon legal mistakes, like inappropriate jury directions or excluded piece of evidence. An appellate judge is More...