Getting Away with Murder, Or Not

Publish in



Please download to get full document.

View again

of 13
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Getting Away with Murder, Or Not. Higgins O’Brien Spring 2012. “Prison is Too Good for Them”. A 2008 poll conducted by the National Opinion Research Center showed that 2/3 of citizens believe the courts are “too soft” on crime
Getting Away with Murder,Or NotHiggins O’BrienSpring 2012“Prison is Too Good for Them”
  • A 2008 poll conducted by the National Opinion Research Center showed that 2/3 of citizens believe the courts are “too soft” on crime
  • This contrasts with the 1990's, when about 85% of the public believed the courts were fair
  • The Insanity Defense
  • The first insanity trial occurred in 1724 England, when a shooter believed imps were keeping him awake at night
  • Courts have always struggled with defining “madness”
  • The McNaughten rule
  • The defendant must understand the act
  • The defendant must know that it is wrong
  • These early rules were very broad, and many offenders were successful in claiming insanity
  • The Insanity Defense continued
  • The assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan was a major turning point
  • John Hinkley Jr. believed that killing the President would win the affection of actress Jodie Foster
  • Hinkley was successful in his plea of insanity
  • 76% of the public felt justice had not been served
  • Many reforms took place
  • The prosecution no longer has to prove that the offender is sane, it now rests on the defense to demonstrate insanity
  • Must have clear and convincing evidence
  • The Insanity Defense continued
  • Despite public opinion, less than 1% of defendants attempt an insanity plea
  • Of these cases, only 26% were successful
  • Offenders attempting to lie and escape punishment do exist, but the majority of insanity defenses are for individuals with severe and legitimate mental issues
  • Capital Punishment
  • The death penalty has been, and continues to be a huge debate in the United States
  • Capital Punishment continued
  • There are many public misconceptions about sentencing and release
  • Politicians who support the death penalty often gain strong support from the public
  • Key issue in the successful Presidential campaigns of George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton
  • There is still a considerable debate on what crimes warrant death (first degree murder, second degree murder, rapists)
  • Capital Punishment continued
  • Most scientific research points toward the death penalty having no effect on murders
  • No more likely to deter crime than life imprisonment
  • But despite a lack of deterrence effect and the expensive cost of trials, capital punishment remains popular
  • Supporters cite retribution, “an eye for an eye”
  • Racial Discrimination inCapital Punishment?Racial Discrimination inCapital Punishment?Capital Punishment continued
  • DNA testing and other scientific advancement has had a tremendous impact on the criminal justice system
  • Much more certainty in whether an offender is innocent or guilty
  • Homicides have dropped in recent years, and so has the number of inmates on death row (3,200 in 2008)
  • Punishing Juvenile Murderers
  • Even before the death penalty was abolished for minors, very few were ever executed in the U.S.
  • States differ in law, but the most severe punishment is juvenile life without parole eligibility (JLWOP)
  • There are about 2,500 inmates incarcerated for life under the age of 18
  • In 2010, the U.S. Supreme court abolished JLWOP for non-homicide offenses
  • Epidemic Thinking and Overresponse
  • Public opinions, perceptions, and attitudes are usually driven by high profile events
  • These high profile events are usually the rarest and most extreme cases
  • Child abduction has always remained very low, but “epidemics” appear every few years
  • Mass media can exaggerate, and link items together that may have no real relation
  • The idea that “bad things come in threes”
  • Related Search
    Related Documents
    View more...
    We Need Your Support
    Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

    Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

    No, Thanks