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Death Penalty InIllinois
There is a definite problem concerning the death penalty in Illinois. Many deal with problems concerning the rights of the defendant while being on trial for murder; others deal with a convict’s rights after they are found guilty and sentenced to death. Should a convict have the right to re-trial if there isn’t an adequate amount of circumstantial evidence? Should there be a criterion that has to be met by evidence in order to pursue the death penalty or should a court just be able to kill someone as long as they please?
On March 9, 2000, George Ryan appointed a commission to determine whether or not Illinois capital punishment was fair and accurate. Many reforms were taken into action in the attempt to rid the Illinois death penalty of any flaws. I believe that this 24- month process was a big waste of time and effort. How exactly can the Illinois court system be re-defined to make it entirely fair and at the same time accurate? How many times have you made a resolution that was deemed fair and accurate? Probably never!
The actions taken to rid the court systems of problems concerning the death penalty have never really been resolved, they have just came up somewhere else and in a different way. The idea of the court system finding a defendant not-guilty and sentencing them to death is completely ridiculous, considering they are being charged with killing two or more people. But one can be sentenced to death if they kill someone of higher authority than a normal citizen; we are talking about an officer, or a firefighter etc. This is also ridiculous, because why are their lives held up on a higher pedestal than any other person. Although I do feel, that once someone kills, it won’t take much for them to kill again. So why should the court system look past the people who have only killed one person? Do they really deserve to live any more than people who have killed more than one person? I would have to say no on that one. The Illinois court system has only been redefined once, and I believe that the court system should appoint a commission on a scheduled basis to re-determine the court system and it’s procedures. This should be done to ensure that accuracy and fairness prevails.
Even though most Illinois citizens support capital punishment there are still people who disagree with its entirety. People feel that the commission’s focused on individual cases, and because of this there is no possible way to ensure that there can be an accurate solution to these problems.
The state of Illinois attempts to seek fairness within the death penalty by issuing a stat- wide Commission, which includes: an attorney general, three prosecutors, and a retired judge. They all look over the local state’s attorney’s judgments within a death penalty case, which encompasses the next issue. How can the death penalty be fair when there is a commission that looks over every case? What’s the point of having a trial if the head commission is going to make the final decision in each case? Pre-trail hearings shouldn’t decide if a defendant is worthy of the death penalty. The relevance of information should be determined within the trail itself. Bias in the court system would then be harder to create, because the court would not know what type of evidence would be brought to trial. In some instances, evidence is tossed out because of its unreliability. What would happen if an eyewitness testified that the defendant is not guilty and specifies evidence that was earlier deemed as unreliable?
In today’s court system, information about the defendant’s past is relevant to the trial itself. In other words, the court’s decision on whether or not a human is guilty of a crime is relevant within the death penalty trial itself. The decision to sentence someone to the death penalty should not have anything to do with their past (before the crime was committed). People feel that it is immoral and unconstitutional to look into someone’s past during a trial. Some believe that pre-trial hearings are everything but fair.
Also it is unfair and inaccurate for the state to view other death sentences in an attempt to aid in the decision process pertaining to the death penalty. To look at a past trial in order to aid further decision on a present trial is wrong. How many people do you know have some kind of a past? Judges would be making their ultimate decisions with the help of evidence from past cases that are irrelevant to the trial at hand. The death penalty should be abolished altogether. There has been steps made fixing the death penalty’s flaws but it seems that these problems are far from gone. Harry A Blackmun states “ The court in my view has engaged in a futile effort to balance the constitutional demands…human error is inevitable and because our criminal justice system is less than perfect, searching appellate review of death sentences and their underlying convictions is a prerequisite to a constitutional death penalty scheme” (69).
The death penalty abroad is a difficult subject to discuss. The significance of it brings difficulty to the governor and his commission when trying to make new proposals that are correcting .............
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