The Arbitrary Nature of the Death Penalty Term Paper by Nicky

The Arbitrary Nature of the Death Penalty
A look at some of the factors that contribute to the arbitrary nature of the death penalty.
# 148211 | 949 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Sep 28, 2011 in Hot Topics (Capital Punishment) , Criminology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The United States is the only Western democracy in the world which still employs the death penalty in its criminal justice system. This paper discusses how a careful analysis of its recent legislative and executive contention with the issue illustrates that the United States remains collectively supportive of the death penalty but that significant demographic trends in public opinion are revealing that long-standing attitudes may be changing. It looks at some of the clear logical arguments against its use, particularly its arbitrary nature, which renders the death penalty as an instrument of punitive enforcement that is subject to the economic, racial and political peculiarities of the judiciary system.

From the Paper:

"However, most evidence suggests that the correlation between socioeconomic status and proclivity toward death penalty sentencing is far too high. Indeed, "most have contended that the death penalty is bad because it is poorly administered. In many jurisdictions, the argument goes, public defenders are incompetent." (Carlson, 1) In jurisdictions where this is true, allegations that public defenders are anything from incompetent and unprepared to sleeping through trial or defending while under the influence of drugs or alcohol denotes that those without the means to hire a fit attorney are at the mercy of a deeply unequal system. To the point, a recent "study found that those defendants whose representation was the least expensive, and thus who received the least amount of attorney and expert time, had an increased probability of receiving a death sentence." (DPIC1, 1) "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Carlson, T. (2000). Tucker Carlson: Death Penalty Deserves More Vigorous Debate. CNN. Online at
  • DPIC. (2005). National Polls. Death Penalty Information Center. Online at<>
  • DPIC1. (2009). Financial Facts: Information on Costs of the Death Penalty from DPIC. Death penalty Information Center. Online at
  • Gleick, E. et al. (1995). Rich Justice, Poor Justice. Time Magazine. Online at,9171,983050-2,00.html
  • Melone, K. (2008). Death Penalty May Be Tested. Courant. Online at <,0,7990906.story>identifying and rebutting two additional counterarguments.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Arbitrary Nature of the Death Penalty (2011, September 28) Retrieved June 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Arbitrary Nature of the Death Penalty" 28 September 2011. Web. 07 June. 2023. <>