There are three main “degrees of murder.” There is third-degree murder, which is a little more complicated than the other two. When people do not meet the standards for first-degree, or second-degree, murder they are usually classified in this category. A third-degree murder is a murder that is not premeditated. The next level up is second-degree murder. This degree is classified as an intended, but not premeditated, murder. The highest degree is first-degree murder. This is an intended and well thought out plan to murder somebody. Being charged with this degree is saying that you thought about how you were going to seek out and kill your victim. People who are guilty of first-degree murder could be tried for the death penalty. This is where it gets a little confusing for me. We murder these people because they murder someone else. It is a “lose-lose situation.” People say the victim’s family wants closure. I am sorry to say this but killing the murderer will not bring your family member back. The death penalty is crude and unnecessary.
“Currently 38 states have the death penalty. The United States is one of only five countries known to have executed defendants who committed their crimes while younger than 18” (Weathers). Before a person can be sentenced to death they have to meet requirements. There are questions asked such as, “Is the defendant mentally ill?” “Did he or she have a choice?” “Did he or she know right from wrong?” “Could he or she control him-/herself?”(Andrews). There are some people who may have a sick illness that truly do not know right from wrong. These people, of course, cannot be punished for an action they cannot help. There is also another phase in the sentencing process that involves the defendant’s past. The defendant may have a childhood that helped to influence his/her unacceptable decisions.
In 2010 the American Psychological Association had a major conflict with the law. Psychologists were told that they should not be allowed to be involved in death penalty cases. There were plenty of people who stated that they wanted psychologist banned from these cases completely (Brodsky, Stanley, Neal, and Jones). This makes a huge point to my argument. Psychologists are people who learn about why human beings think what they think and do what they do. They help to stand up for people who have been put down by society.
“A young African-American man shot and killed an Alabama police officer in 1981. He was examined in jail and found to be psychotic then and at the time of the killing. In 1982 the Alabama Lunacy Commission found him competent to stand trial, and he was sentenced to death. He was consistently described as psychotic in prison records; but another state forensic evaluation in 1988 again found him competent. After reviewing his records and examining him, I concluded that he had been psychotic when he killed the officer and was psychotic still. A federal appeals court judge ruled that the original trial had been...