1.) Hans, Valerie P. The Death Penalty: Should the Judge or the Jury Decide Who Dies? Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/doi/epdf/10.1111/jels.12065.
This article, written by Valerie Hans, addresses a judge versus jury decision through an analysis of all capital sentences in Delaware from 1977–2007. During the last thirty years over the course of the study, the state of Delaware changed the responsibility from the jury for the decision of capital punishment to the judge. Delaware is one of many states across the US that gives the judge the final call over cases in which capital punishment is involved. In Hans’s article, it is found that with the shift from the jury to judge, the number of death sentences has increased significantly.
After reading the article I believe it is a valid source that could help in my argument about whether capital punishment is ethically right. It uses numerous studies and sources to validate the article’s information. Variables such as the victim’s gender also increased the likelihood of a death sentence, which I plan on discussing in my paper. The article addresses the ethics and constitutionality of judge sentencing in capital cases which is the main foundation of my paper and regards my overall research question.
Using variables and a thirty-year study of the Delaware court system, I think the article would make an excellent addition to my paper and my argument that the death penalty is morally unjust. Using Delaware’s study gives us a chance to decide the future of criminal cases and whether it is better to be judged by the judge or a jury of your peers, as the Constitution promises. I think this is important to examine because it may alter the decision of other states if the voters decide it is not fair to leave the final decision up to a judge in capital cases. Most importantly, this would help my argument because it begs the question of does capital sentencing by judges violate the Sixth and Eighth Amendments?

2.) Jason Iuliano. Why Capital Punishment Is No Punishment at All. American University Law Review, Aug. 2015, web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=7&[email protected]&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ==#AN=110031818&db=cja
Capital punishment has generated an incredible amount of public debate. The author, Jason Iuliano, brings tough questions to the table on the topic of capital punishment, such as is the practice constitutional, does it deter crime, or it is even humane? The only thing supporters and non-supporters have on the death penalty is that it is society’s most severe punishment. The author states that capital punishment is not truly a punishment at all.
I think this article works for my paper because it is one of the few I have chosen that goes against my own personal argument. The author’s argument builds the fact that for something “to qualify as a punishment, it must be bad, in some way, for the person who is punished.” By using philosophical literature regarding death, the author shows that this is not the case believing the death penalty is not bad, in any way, for a condemned criminal.
I think this was an excellent article to pick for my topic. I found the author’s opinion really interesting since he claims death penalty is not truly a punishment, which I want to read about since my topic is weather capital “punishment” is morally right. I read a few of the body paragraphs outlined in his paper and thought he brings up excellent points that would help in my own analysis of whether the death penalty is morally right or wrong. By using the author’s analysis on the fact capital punishment shouldn’t even be considered a punishment it could help in my own analysis.

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3.) Bandes, Susan A. What Executioners Can—and Cannot—Teach Us About the Death Penalty. Criminal Justice Ethics, Dec. 2016, web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4;[email protected];bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ==#AN=119451050;db=cja.
In Susan Bandes’s article, the author discusses how those who work with those who are sentenced to death are very much against capital punishment. This is not only in individual cases, and not because they feel death penalties are handled incorrectly in the justice system, but because they deem the punishment to be wrong in nature. She argues that the perspective of the executioners and those involved help to illuminate the debate about whether to abolish capital punishment. The perspective of the executioner sheds important light.
I believe this would make a solid addition as a reference to my contribution paper. The author draws on works by and about Albert Pierrepoint, the “last hangman” of Britain who hanged over six hundred people for war crimes during world war two. She also uses sources from numerous executioners, wardens, chaplains, and other death row personnel arguing that their perspectives offer a powerful argument against the main rationale for the death penalty, which is retribution.
I really liked Bandes’s paper and thought it was a very interesting take on the death penalty for capital crimes. We often hear so much on this topic and many controversial topics in society from lawmakers and people with little or no experience in these topics (such as abortion, gun laws, etc.) We usually don’t listen to the stories and opinions of those who are directly involved in things like capital punishment to get their full take. I thought her perspective on using insight from executioners, especially her insight on retribution. The executioners’ accounts share a common theme, which is that death row inmates change over time and hold the potential for redemption and change.
4.) Garrett, Brandon L. The American Death Penalty Decline. Journal of Criminal Law ; Criminology, 2017, web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=7;sid=e641b662-f74a-4d44-b834-7dbf29572d83%40pdc-v-sessmgr03;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=125935995;db=cja.
In the span of fifteen years, American death sentences have become rare and concentrated in a small group of counties. Author Brandon Garrett defined capital punishment as categorically unconstitutional, pointing out the “dramatic declines” in death sentences even in states with the most executions like Texas and Virginia. This article describes how the decline has become still more dramatic ever since 2009, based on comprehensive data hand-collected on all death sentencing done “by county, for the entire modern era of capital punishment.” While scholars and journalists have discussed the reasons for the decline, research hasn’t examined the characteristics statistically associated with county-level death sentencing.
The American criminal justice system is imposing fewer death sentences than at any point in the past three decades. There were only fifty-one defendants sentenced to death in 2015. In 2016, just thirty-one defendants were sentenced to death. 6 In the 1990s, several hundred people were sentenced to death each year. Today, few counties still sentence individuals to death. The smaller counties simply do not seek the death penalty any longer, which is why I find this article relevant in assessing the morality of capital punishment.
I find this trend to be extremely interesting which is why I chose this article for my research paper. In examining this article, it begs the question of whether society or the court system is not sentencing death as much due to being uncertain about the morality of death penalties. Crime has indeed lowered, but with such an alarming difference in death sentences, there has to be something going on to change the minds of judges and juries in capital cases.
5.) Sarat, Austin. THE RHETORIC OF ABOLITION: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST AMERICA’S DEATH PENALTY. Journal of Criminal Law ; Criminology, 2017, web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=10;sid=e641b662-f74a-4d44-b834-7dbf29572d83%40pdc-v-sessmgr03;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=125935999;db=cja.
This article, written by Austin Sarat, seeks to understand when, how, and where the framing of arguments against capital punishment have changed. While other articles and scholars have previously focused on the national level, Sarat studied the framing of abolitionist arguments in three American states: Connecticut, Kansas, and Texas. Each state has its own distinctive death penalty history, and this article studies their framing of arguments against the death penalty from 1900 to 201 and the many different explanations as for changing the situation of capital punishment.
I find this article relevant because this research done on three abolitionist states (Kansas, Connecticut, and Texas) focuses on politics and popular culture rather than jurisprudence and law as to why the death penalty is more or less becoming a thing of the past. Such explanations as to why capital punishment is being used less and less are the drastically lowering rates of violent crime and the growth of life in prison without parole sentences in prison institutions.
I found this article very interesting to read and the findings of the studies on the three states (which at one point were the strongest supporters of the death penalty) and why it isn’t being used nearly as often in the past decade. I thought the author gave solid evidence and used valid sources to back up his claims and gave detailed explanations on the topic.
6.) Schweizer, Jennifer. Racial Disparity in Capital Punishment and Its Impact on Family Members of Capital Defendants. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, Mar. 2013, web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=11&sid=e641b662-f74a-4d44-b834-7dbf29572d83%40pdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=86994241&db=cja.
Racial disparity continues to exist in America today. In Schweizer’s article, she dives into the racial disparity and differences in those sentenced to death. Racial disparity is the one facet in society that continues to endure in the implementation of the death penalty. One of the major ?aws in the use of capital punishment is the racial bias that in?uences the various stages of the death penalty process. The author stated that the punishment of death places an unequal burden on African American families even though African Americans constitute only 13.6% of the U.S. population yet make up 42% of the total death row population. In a review of the research conducted by Shweizer, the author explores the reality of racial bias in capital punishment and how it is systematically used in the capital punishment process. The author also delves into ways family members of capital defendants are affected by the death penalty.
I think this article would help set up a foundation to how the death penalty is used and the process through which it brought about. While my argument has to do with the morality of the death penalty, I think Schweizer’s article helps demonstrate what influences the death penalty process in the first place and how the number of people in prisons is the same yet the number of death row inmates are decreasing. The disproportionate use of this policy causes African Americans to be scrutinized and punished more severely than Whites charged with similar offenses. Due to this unfair policy, African American families have an increased likelihood of being impacted by the ultimate punishment of death.
I found the article to be really interesting and while it’s not a huge backbone piece to my paper, I think it has a place in describing the reasons defendants are prosecuted in the first place. However, the point in using this article is used to prove how the number of incarcerated individuals has increased in prison yet the death penalty has been drastically lowered.
7.) Litton, Paul. Physician Participation in Executions, the Morality of Capital Punishment, and the Practical Implications of Their Relationship. Journal of Law, Medicine ; Ethics, 2013, web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=13;sid=e641b662-f74a-4d44-b834-7dbf29572d83%40pdc-v-sessmgr03;bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=86980731;db=cja.
Over the past several years, the most widely publicized issue in capital punishment has been the constitutional status of states’ lethal injection protocols. Paul Litton discusses the constitutionality of lethal injection and rather execution protocols and their potential for maladministration. He also writes how if the anesthetic, which is administered first of the three injections, is ineffectively delivered, then the second and third drugs — the paralytic and heartbeat-ceasing agents — will cause “torturous pain and suffering in violation of the Eighth Amendment.” Inmates have argued that the participation of anesthesiologists or other highly trained medical professionals is constitutionally required to minimize the risk of unnecessary suffering.
I think this is a crucial argument of whether the death penalty is legal. If the hundreds of executions performed in recent decades have caused some sort of torturous pain, then this violates the US Constitutions eighth amendment. The article supports my claim that the death penalty is morally wrong since it causes pain to the death row inmate. Combined with evidence that some executed inmates suffered torturous pain, this article brings to light the ethical debate about physician participation in executions. Even though the United States Supreme Court has signaled that physician participation is not constitutionally required, lawmakers in death penalty states must consider the ethics involved.
I found this to be a very important and relevant article because any ethical position on physician involvement during the death penalty process requires some judgment about the moral status of capital punishment. I think the author did a great job explaining how capital punishment’s moral status is one important factor that must be considered within the analysis of the ethics of physician participation. The author argues that since the death penalty is immoral, physicians have a reason not to be complicit in the practice, yet they could have reasons related to the inmate’s interest to participate.
8.) Flanders, Chad. THE CASE AGAINST THE CASE AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY. New Criminal Law Review, 2013, web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.lib.utah.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=f5755838-956e-4ec0-8d2a-2e5c88cde9f0%40pdc-v-sessmgr05&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=91251203&db=cja.
Despite the continuing belief by a majority of Americans that the death penalty is morally permissible, the death penalty has a lack of those against the punishment. Author Chad Flanders identifies the three major theories of punishment as the deterrent, the retributive, and the rehabilitative, proving in each that the death penalty is not justi?ed. Flanders states that in America, the death penalty remained popular up until the last five or so years yet is now almost universally agreed as barbaric and a waste of money. He provides several ways that we can use different means of punishment as a response and a deterrent to violent crime.
I think this is a relevant article to use because the author states outright that the point of this article is not to provide an argument against the death penalty but to show that there are many sound arguments for the death penalty with traditional theories of punishment and to open the way for a deeper exploration of the reasons why we might object to the death penalty. It’s important to not just criticize things in society but instead to offer other options instead of death as a way to deal with capital crime. He further mentions the article has two major ambitions: to show that none of the traditional justi?cations for punishment (retribution, deterrence, or rehabilitation) bars the use of death as a penalty, and to outline how the real case against the death penalty must rely on more general normative presuppositions, ones not con?ned to punishment theory.
I thought this article was well written. I find the part of this article where the author argues that even though the death penalty can be justi?ed in terms of punishment philosophy it does not mean that it can be justified all things considered. There are numerous things, such as torture, that may fulfill punishment but are not permissible in terms of moral grounds. I think his opinions on deterrence. One of the most common arguments, according to Flanders, is that it is “necessary to deter the commission of future murders; conversely, it is commonly argued that we should be against the death penalty because it does not deter future murders”. This latter point assumes that the only possible justi?cation for the death penalty is deterrence, which he believes is not true. Even if the death penalty does not deter, it may be justi?ed on other grounds, such as retributive or rehabilitative grounds, which is a really strong argument in my own stance on the use of capital punishment.