4 Death Penalty Flashcards Preview

Psychology & Law > 4 Death Penalty > Flashcards

Flashcards in 4 Death Penalty Deck (50):

What are the two approaches that are taken when considering how to lessen crime?

1) Utilitarian
2) Retributive


What is the utilitarian approach?

The intent that sentences should accomplish a useful outcome.
Ex: deterrence


What is the retributive approach?

Punishment should be inflicted on a person who has taken something from another person. Like what does the criminal deserve? It's a moral outrage.


What are two judges have become frustrated with?

1) Revolving door justice
2) Awareness of prison overcrowding and the high costs of


What is meant by "revolving door justice?"

Many offenders who are released from prison eventually return, suggesting that their punishments had little long-term effectiveness.


What are the purposes of incarceration? (7)

- General Deterrence
- Individual Deterrence
- Incapacitation
- Retribution
- Moral Outrage
- Rehabilitation
- Restitution


What is general deterrence?

Punishing the offender discourages others from offending.


What is individual deterrence?

Punishing the offender discourages that particular offender from committing other crimes.


What is incapacitation?

Society can feel safe knowing the offender is locked up.


What is retribution?

Offenders suffer for what they have done.


What is moral outrage?

Public gets satisfaction from punishing the offender.


What is rehabilitation?

Offenders will recognize the error of their ways, develop new skills values and lifestyles so they can become law-abiding citizens.


What is restitution?

Offenders compensate victims for their losses, usually during probation.


In Canada in 1859, what offences were considered punishable by death? How did they kill?

Treason, theft, burglary, rape, pedophilia, homosexuality and beastiality. The only method of execution was hanging.


In canada, in 1859, what did they do after the hanging?

The body was often left in public, usually covered in tar so that they could preserve them from weather.


By 1869, what were the only three crimes punishable by death?

Murder, rape and treason.


In 1961, what was the only crimes punishable by death?

Capital murder. (planned deliberate murder, or murder of police)


How many men and women have been executed in Canada's history?

697 Men, 13 Women


What happened with the death penalty in 1967?

Placed a moratorium on the death penalty except for the murder of a police officer.


What happened to the death penalty in 1976?

The death penalty was removed.


What were the concerns raised by parliament that lead to the death penalty being discontinued?

- Wrongful convictions
- Taking lives of the individuals
- Uncertainty of the effectiveness as a deterrent.


What happened to 14 year old Steven Truscott in 1959?

- Sentenced to death for the murder of a classmate
- Scheduled to be hanged on Dec.8 1959 but was postponed
- In 1960 his death sentence was commuted to life in prison
- In 2007 he was acquitted of the charges
- In 2008 the government of Ontario awarded him 6.5 million


What did the Canadian parliament replace for the death penalty?

1st Degree Murder - Life in prison with no eligibility for parole after
25 years.
2nd Degree Murder - Between 10 - 25 years


In the states, who is involved with sentencing decisions?

In most states - Trial Judge
Capital cases - Juries


Are they trying to get away from jury sentencing? (For death penalty?)



In modern history, why did the U.S. abolish the death penalty?

"Cruel and unusual punishment"


When was the death penalty reinstated in the U.S. and why?

- 1976
- Due to changes in how a jury would decide between death
penalty and life in prison.


How does the U.S. defend that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment?

Provided that the method is not deemed cruel and that the punishment is not excessive in relation to the crime.


How many states use the death penalty?



Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, how many people have been sentenced / executed?

- 7,500 sentenced to death
- 1, 225 have been executed


Which part of the U.S. / Which states use the death penalty the most?

- 80% of the executions occur in the southern states
- Texas accounting for 1/3 of them


What is the estimated percentage of people sentenced to death that may be innocent?



How are jurors selected in capital cases? "Death qualification"

- Prospective jurors are required to answer questions about their
attitudes toward capital punishment.
- Prospective jurors are excluded if they are extremely opposed
or for the death penalty.


What are the qualities of jurors now that they are "death qualified?"

- More disposed towards conviction


What is the jury process called?

Bifurcated Process (2 phases)


What are the two steps in the bifurcated process?

1. Jury first decides guilt or innocence
2. If found guilty, then jury decides between death penalty or LWOP


What are factors that should be considered in the bifurcated process?

Must consider aggravating and mitigating factors.


What is an aggravating factor?

- Facts that argue for the death penalty
- Very violent or heinous crimes
- Ex: Killing a police officer


What is a mitigating factor?

- Facts that argue for LWOP
- Defendant's age
- Defendant was a victim of abuse growing up
- Low IQ or mental illness


How can a jury member be allowed to vote for the death penalty?

A jury can't vote for death without at least one aggravating factor.
However, even if many aggravating factors are present, LWOP is always an option.


What does research show about the jury and aggravating/mitigating factors?

Understanding of aggravating factors more than mitigating factors can lead to more death penalty recommendations.


Give two examples of aggravating / mitigating factors?

- Alcohol use
- Mental illness
- Defendants age


What are jurors don't understand how to weigh mitigating and aggravating factors, they are more likely to...?

More likely to rely on stereotypes to make punishment decisions.


What are the racial issues with jurors/ defendants and the death penalties?

1. White male jurors more likely to vote an execute a black man.
(More so than non-white and females)
2. Black defendants who kill white victims are more likely to be
sentenced to death.
3. Victims of homicide are equally divided, but the chance of a
death sentence who kill whites is more then people who kill


How are jurors often treated how?

- Like children (sit still, pay attention, don't talk)
- Expected to understand complicated legal terminology


When Canada held a free vote on the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1987, what were the results?

- 54% opposed
- 46% favoured


Since 2002, what is considered cruel and unusual punishment?

To execute offenders with mental retardation.


What did Roper v. Simmons (2005) petition to impose?

the decision in which the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to impose the death penalty for crimes committed while under the age of 18.


Who was the last minor to be executed? And what did they do?

- Scott Allen Hain
- Stole a car, robbed the victims in the car, placed them in the trunk
and set fire to the car resulting in death.
- Hain was put down at age 32.


What are some questions that are asked when determining the competency of someone for execution?

"Do you understand why you are being executed?"
"Do you understand what death means?"