“Death Penalty.” Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, edited by Jeffrey Wilson, 2nd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2006, pp. 447-452.
Student Resources in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX2588700089/SUIC?u=cinc48953&xid=60de312d.
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Accessed 15 January 2018.Summarize: This article published on the database Gale Student Resources in Context offers insight into the history of the use of the death penalty as well as popular opinion towards it. The piece is organized in chronological order, beginning with the death penalty first being legalized in Hammurabi’s Code and then moving onto more recent uses of the death penalty such as Great Britain in the 1700s and concluding with the use of the death penalty today. By organizing it like a timeline, the article is able to coherently convey ideas about the death penalty from a historical lens.Assess: This source is very useful; it provides relevant information regarding the death penalty in a straightforward and unbiased way. Since this is an entry from an encyclopedia published by the well known database Gale Student Resources in Context, the source is credible. The piece offers perspectives on the death penalty from both countries who have abolished the death penalty as well as those who have kept it in place, making for a well rounded article which presents both sides of the death penalty argument.
Reflect: This source helped to shape the IRR by providing information used in the introductory paragraph. Since “Death Penalty” is a selection which reviews past use of the death penalty in the United States and around the world, it appropriately fits with my historical lens. Additionally, the comparison of past and present uses of the death penalty as well as the use of the death penalty in different countries provides context in the introductory paragraph by juxtaposing the “then and now” and “here and there” aspect of the issue.Fitzpatrick, Joan.
“The Relevance of Customary International Norms to the Death Penalty in the United States.” Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law, vol. 25, no. 165, 1995, pp. 165–180, digitalcommons.law.uga.
edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1390=gjicl. Accessed 17 January 2018.Summarize: This journal entry by Joan Fitzpatrick examines the legality of the death penalty in America both based on the American legal system as well as “International Norms” such as human rights codes. Fitzpatrick argues that the death penalty, especially when applied to juveniles, is a form of torture. She cites things which support that perspective, such as the Callins v. Collins court case, well as those who oppose it, like Weisburd, Simma and Alston. Fitzpatrick concluded her entry by exposing the many caveats within United States law which, based on previous court cases and rules regarding international law, makes it difficult to tell whether or not the death penalty should be illegal.
Assess: Fitzpatrick is a professor of law at the University of Washington and has degrees in law from Harvard, Oxford, and Rice Universities, which put her in a place of authority regarding the topic of historical laws and the death penalty. Additionally, she cites a range of relevant sources, such as court briefings, the Washington Supreme Court, and organizations such as Amnesty International. Throughout the paper Fitzpatrick builds her credibility through the use of professional diction. This source’s purpose of examining both sides of the question “Is the death penalty legal under both United States and International Law?” is fulfilled throughout the article.Reflect: This source provides evidence for the third paragraph in the IRR which examines the legality of the death penalty both in America and other countries which implement it. Because of Fitzpatrick’s strong legal background, this source adds credibility and expertise to the IRR.
Additionally the numerous court cases cited by Fitzpatrick also help to build context by bringing up the fact that the issue of the death penalty has a long history not only in its legality but the moral aspects of it as well.”Less Support for Death Penalty, Especially Among Democrats.” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 16 Apr. 2015, www.people-press.
org/2015/04/16/less-support-for-death-penalty-especially-among-democrats/#. Accessed 14 January 2018.Summarize: The Pew Research Center conducted a study which presents public opinion on the death penalty since 1935. It provides responses from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, as well as women and men. In these results, it is shown that support for the death penalty is waning, and has hit an all time low since the 1960s. It also shows that 78% of respondents who do not favor the death penalty also believe that it is not effective in deterring other crimes.
These results convey the perspectives of American citizens and the fact that although the death penalty is legal, it is opposed by many citizens of different politcal parties and gender.Assess: The Pew Research Center describes themselves as “a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world”, according to their website, http://www.pewresearch.org.
They disclose how they conduct the polls as well as present the data as it was before they processed it. Because of their transparency with information and sources, it can be concluded that this source is credible.Reflect: “Less Support for the Death Penalty, Especially Among Democrats” can be used to support the point that the death penalty does not deter crime.
This source presents the perspectives of ordinary citizens on the death penalty. It is valuable to the IRR since the research is credible and various perspecitves within “citizens” are presented, further broken down by factors such as political orientation. Because of the variety of facets of the issue which are examined by this study, it also presents a lot of relevant research for the topic of the death penalty.Marcus, Paul. “Capital Punishment in the United States, and Beyond.” William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository, 2007, scholarship.law.wm.
edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1068=facpubs. Accessed 16 January 2018.
Summarize: This paper examines the history of capital punishment in the United States. Marcus covers topics ranging from the legality of the death penalty in America and cases such as Furman v. Georgia to current attitudes of people such as policemen and criminologists towards the death penalty. In the process, Marcus presents research from studies done about the effectiveness of the death penalty in deterring crime, delving into the complex emotional history woven into that of capital punishment.Assess: Marcus presents reliable information from multiple perspectives and sources such as the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing accurate and current information about the death penalty in America. He is also a credible source, given that he is a professor of law who specializes in criminal law at the William and Mary Law School. Through the use of unbiased sources as well as adequate citations, Marcus presents his information in a factual and professional manner.
This makes the paper read like a textbook, similar to the “Death Penalty” encyclopedia entry, however with a presentation of analysis of statistics and a wider range of perspectives.Reflect: Elements of this document can be used in analyzing the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent as well as examining the legality of the death penalty in the United States. Since Marcus has expertise in the subject, his perspectives add credibility to the IRR. This source supports the idea that the death penalty has not been an effective means of punishment in the United States both in the past and currently through the referencing of previously conducted studies and evidence.Reggio, Michael H. “History of the Death Penalty.
” Public Broadcasting Service, 1997, www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/execution/readings/history.
html. Accessed 18 January 2018.Summarize: This article investigates the history of the death penalty in the United States and how capital punishment in other countries impacted its development. It traces the evolution of uses of the death penalty in the United States, from the end of public executions, to the growing abolitionist movement. It also provides a comprehensive list of all past court cases which examined the legality of capital punishment, such as Furman v.
Georgia, which ended the use of the death penalty in the United States, to Penry v. Lynaugh, which banned the use of the death penalty for mentally disabled people.Assess: Michael H. Reggio is the author of a variety of books regarding capital punishment such as Society’s Final Solution: A History and Discussion of the Death Penalty, which places him in a position of authority.
Because of this, this article can be deemed as accurate. Additionally, Reggio cites many others who are in a position of authority such as Phillip English Mackey, the author of Voices Against Death: American Opposition to Capital Punishment, 1787-1975. Also, since Reggio’s piece was published by PBS, or the Public Broadcasting Service, a nonprofit provider of news, his article is credible.Reflect: This piece on the history of the death penalty can help to build context around the past and present uses of the death penalty in the introductory and legal paragraph.
Because Reggio presents facts and court cases with his expert analysis, the evidence that he presents is relevant to the IRR. Similar to both Joan Fitzpatrick’s source on the legality of the death penalty, and Gale Student Resources’ Encyclopedia entry “Death Penalty” about the history of the death penalty, this source connects a legal perspective with the historical lens.