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Works Cited

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Submitted By caralane323
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Sally Sunshine
Research Proposal
Section 1 – Summary of the Argument
In my research paper, I will argue the case for the abolition of capital punishment.
Outside of the United States, there are only three industrialized democracies that still use the death penalty as part of their justice system (Japan, Singapore, and South Korea). The global movement toward peace can never be led by a country that continues to sanction killing. First, I intend to give an overview of capital punishment, including its history, Supreme Court decisions, and the general controversy. Next, I will present my case by establishing the most relevant points in my argument, including statistics that contradict capital punishment as a crime deterrent, evidence that shows the inconsistency in how defendants are sentenced to death row, and finally evidence of mistaken executions.
For my counterargument section, I will acknowledge those who support the death penalty by highlighting their cogent points. The primary counterargument in favor of the death penalty rests on giving the families of victims a sense of closure and justice. This counterargument will be refuted using evidence gathered primarily through national studies and statistics. Finally, I will conclude by summarizing key points in the argument, by offering possible alternatives to the death penalty, and be reasserting the case to federally abolish capital punishment once and for all.Sunshine 2
I do need help with a few questions and concerns I have for the paper. Am I correct in thinking that the primary reason people support the death penalty is retribution (having a punishment that fits the crime)? Could it be something else? Is there another counterargument that I’m missing? A second concern I have is about the costs related to the death penalty. I’m concerned that I won’t get this section right because there are good financial arguments on both sides of the death penalty debate. My final concern is that the cities in America with extremely high murder rates (Chicago and Detroit) also happen to be in states that don’t have a death penalty. I am concerned that this may work against me.Sunshine 3
Section 2 – Outline
I. Introduction
a. Death penalty definition
b. Death penalty overview (incl. list of states currently supporting death penalty)
c. THESIS: The death penalty should be abolished in California because there are too many irrevocable mistaken executions, there is no consistency in sentencing hearings, and, most importantly, there is no evidence that it actually deters crime.
II. History of the controversy
i. High profile public cases ii. The moratorium on capital punishment after Furman v. Georgia (1972) iii. The reactivation of capital punishment after Gregg v. Georgia (1976) iv. The ten most frequently argued reasons for and against capital punishment
III. Support #1: Poor deterrence of crime
a. Background on use of capital punishment as a crime deterrent
b. U.S. Department of Corrections statistics on national murder rates.
c. Comparisons of murder rates in capital punishment states vs. non-capital punishment states
IV. Support #2: Mistaken executions
a. History of the Innocence Project
b. High profile overturned capital punishment cases
V. Support #3: Inconsistency in sentencing hearings
a. Demographic statistics on capital punishment convictions.Sunshine 4
i. Evidence on income level of death penalty defendants ii. Evidence on race/ethnicity of death penalty defendants iii. Evidence on attorney quality of death penalty defendants
VI. Counterarguments
a. Overview of the top arguments in favor of capital punishment
i. Retribution ii. Deterrence of crime iii. High costs to imprison inmates for life
b. Refutation of counterargument #1: Retribution
i. Retribution as a violation of the church and state separation ii. Retribution through capital punishment violates the rehabilitation system’s first principle which is to rehabilitate the criminal
c. Refutation of counterargument #2: Crime deterrence
i. National Research Council report (2012) ii. Fluctuating murder rates in capital punishment states
d. Refutation of counterargument #3: High imprisonment costs
i. Judge Richard Dieter’s testimony to the Colorado House of
Representatives’ Judiciary Committee (2007). ii. Trial costs of capital punishment cases vs. non-capital punishment cases
VII. Conclusion
a. Global response to capital punishment
b. Alternatives to the death penalty
c. Capital punishment sends the wrong message to citizensSunshine 5
Section 3 – Sources
(See the sources worksheet and copies of the first page of each source attached to this proposal.)

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