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Everything posted by davidtrump

  1. Conclusion The United States has ratified the Torture and Race Conventions with certain reservations because of the death penalty. However, while the death penalty itself may not constitute a violation of these conventions, specific applications of this punishment may be contrary to the law of these treaties. Punishments which may be unlawful in international law, such as the execution of juveniles, the mentally retarded, and those foreign nationals who were not informed of their consular rights, are not exempted from the Torture Convention. Pain and suffering which are peripheral to
  2. Another study by Professor Jeffrey Pokorak of St. Mary's University Law School in Texas found that the key decision-makers in death cases around the country are almost exclusively white men. Of the chief District Attorneys in counties using the death penalty in the United States, nearly 98% are white and only 1% are African-American. These new empirical studies underscore a persistent pattern of racial disparities which has appeared throughout the country over the past twenty years. Examinations of the relationship between race and the death penalty, with varying levels of thoroughness an
  3. Race Considerations As was mentioned above, the Torture Convention forbids the infliction of pain and suffering "based on discrimination of any kind." The death penalty in the United States has a long history of racial discrimination, and is therefore suspect under the Torture Convention. The fact that race played a significant role in the imposition of the death penalty contributed to the United States Supreme Court's finding that the death penalty was being unconstitutionally applied in 1972. Subsequent revision of state laws convinced a majority of the Supreme Court that the arbit
  4. Methods of Executions In addition to the actual killing of a human being and the years of psychological torment leading up to this act, the methods of execution employed in the U.S. have resulted in the infliction of additional pain. At least 20 executions since 1976 involved mistakes in the process which led to prolonged and painful executions, such as an inmate's head catching fire during an electrocution and the torturous 45-minute search for a suitable vein to carry out a lethal injection. Four states use electrocution for execution with no alternative possible. Outside of the death p
  5. Pain and Suffering Not Inherent to Death Penalty Although much of what is painful about the death penalty is inextricably linked to the ultimate execution, there is some suffering which is peripheral to executions and hence may constitute a form of torture. The length of time that people spend on death row in the U.S. is quite long and not an essential or an intended part of the punishment. Also, the methods of execution used in some states is gratuitously violent and torturous. Time on Death Row Death row inmates are subjected to years of uncertainty under dismal physical condi
  6. Foreign Nationals Another area in which the legality of the death penalty has been called into question is the execution of foreign nationals in the U.S. The U.S., along with almost all the other countries of the world, has long been a party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.Article 36 of this Convention requires officials in the U.S. who place foreign nationals under arrest to inform them of their rights to consult with the embassy of their home country. It is clear that this provision, which is binding in all states under U.S. law, has been consistently ignored. There
  7. A similar argument can be made that the execution of defendants suffering from mental retardation is unlawful in international law and hence is torture when applied to them. The treaties mentioned above are less clear when it comes to execution of the mentally retarded. Persons with mental retardation fall into the bottom two to three percent of the population in intellectual functioning. They are unlikely to achieve a mental age greater than 12 years old. Those who have committed a crime have a diminished capacity to understand right from wrong and the legal consequences of their actions
  8. Other International Treaties and Juvenile Executions The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child also specifically prohibits the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders. This treaty goes even further and outlaws the sentence of life without possibility of parole for those under 18. Virtually every country in the world has ratified this treaty, except the U.S. The U.S. has signed the treaty, but not ratified it, in part because we foresee the conflict between our practice of executing juveniles and the treaty. Similarly, the U.S. has signed but not ratified the American Con
  9. "Lawful Sanctions" Juveniles Although the death penalty is generally tolerated under international law, the same cannot be said of the execution of juvenile offenders. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires that the death penalty only be imposed "for the most serious crimes," and never upon those who were under 18 years of age at the time of their crime. Virtually all the countries of the world have signed or ratified this important treaty, including most recently, China. However, the United States is the only country with an outstanding reservation to the
  10. The U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (the Torture Convention) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1984 and ratified by the United States ten years later. In all, 176 countries have either ratified or signed the torture convention. The thrust of this treaty is to forbid physical and psychological abuse of people in detention around the world. Whether the death penalty is implicated in this treaty depends on the definition of torture. Clearly, the U.S. was not about to sign a treaty which, on
  11. English criminal law concerns offences, their prevention and the consequences, in England and Wales. Criminal conduct is considered to be a wrong against the whole of a community, rather than just the private individuals affected. The state, in addition to certain international organisations, has responsibility for crime prevention, for bringing the culprits to justice, and for dealing with convicted offenders. The police, the criminal courts and prisons are all publicly funded services, though the main focus of criminal law concerns the role of the courts, how they apply criminal statutes and
  12. Responsibility for criminal law and criminal justice in the United States is shared between the states and id federal and illegal so the federal government. Sources of law The federal government and all the states rely on the following. Common law Common law is law developed by judges through legal opinions, as opposed to statutes adopted through the legislative process or regulations issued by the executive branch. A common law crime is thus a crime which was originally defined by judges. Common law crimes no longer exist at the federal level, because of the U.S. Supreme Co
  13. The criminal law of Canada is under the exclusive legislative jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada. The power to enact criminal law is derived from section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867. Most criminal laws have been codified in the Criminal Code, as well as the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act and several other peripheral statutes. Prosecution In all Canadian provinces and territories, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the "Queen in Right of Canada". A person may be prosecuted criminally for any offences found in the Criminal
  14. The criminal law of Australia is the body of law made, recognised and applied in Australia that relates to crime. Most criminal law is made and administered by the individual states and territories of Australia. However, a body of criminal law is also made and administered by the federal government. Criminal law may be differentiated from civil law, which in Australia relates to non-criminal law including civil wrongs, contract law, much of property law and other areas that concern the rights and duties of individuals amongst themselves. In Australia, when a criminal prosecution is commen
  15. Criminal law jurisdictions Public international law deals extensively and increasingly with criminal conduct that is heinous and ghastly enough to affect entire societies and regions. The formative source of modern international criminal law was the Nuremberg trials following the Second World War in which the leaders of Nazism were prosecuted for their part in genocide and atrocities across Europe. The Nuremberg trials marked the beginning of criminal fault for individuals, where individuals acting on behalf of a government can be tried for violations of international law without the benefit
  16. Fatal offenses A murder, defined broadly, is an unlawful killing. Unlawful killing is probably the act most frequently targeted by the criminal law. In many jurisdictions, the crime of murder is divided into various gradations of severity, e.g., murder in the first degree, based on intent. Malice is a required element of murder. Manslaughter (Culpable Homicide in Scotland) is a lesser variety of killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity. Involuntary manslaughter, where it is recognized, is a killing that lacks all but the most
  17. Mens rea Mens rea is another Latin phrase, meaning "guilty mind". This is the mental element of the crime. A guilty mind means an intention to commit some wrongful act. Intention under criminal law is separate from a person's motive (although motive does not exist in Scots law). A lower threshold of mens rea is satisfied when a defendant recognizes an act is dangerous but decides to commit it anyway. This is recklessness. It is the mental state of mind of the person at the time the actus reus was committed. For instance, if C tears a gas meter from a wall to get the money inside, and kn
  18. Selected Criminal laws Many laws are enforced by threat of criminal punishment, and the range of the punishment varies with the jurisdiction. The scope of criminal law is too vast to catalog intelligently. Nevertheless, the following are some of the more typical aspects of criminal law. Elements The criminal law generally prohibits undesirable acts. Thus, proof of a crime requires proof of some act. Scholars label this the requirement of an actus reus or guilty act. Some crimes – particularly modern regulatory offenses – require no more, and they are known as strict liability offenses
  19. Objectives of Criminal law Criminal law is distinctive for the uniquely serious potential consequences or sanctions for failure to abide by its rules. Every crime is composed of criminal elements. Capital punishment may be imposed in some jurisdictions for the most serious crimes. Physical or corporal punishment may be imposed such as whipping or caning, although these punishments are prohibited in much of the world. Individuals may be incarcerated in prison or jail in a variety of conditions depending on the jurisdiction. Confinement may be solitary. Length of incarceration may vary from a
  20. Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people inclusive of one's self. Most criminal law is established by statute, which is to say that the laws are enacted by a legislature. Criminal law includes the punishment and rehabilitation of people who violate such laws. Criminal law varies according to jurisdiction, and differs from civil law, where emphasis is more on dispute resolution and victim compensation than on punishment or rehabilitation. C
  21. Official record data The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention indicates that 15% of juvenile arrests occurred for rape in 2006, and 12% were clearance (resolved by an arrest). The total number of juvenile arrests in 2006 for forcible rape was 3,610 with 2% being female and 36% being under the age of 15 years. This trend has declined throughout the years with forcible rape from 1997–2006 being −30% and from 2005 to 2006 being −10%. The OJJDP reports that the juvenile arrest rate for forcible rape increased from the early 1980s through the 1990s and at that time it fell again.
  22. Juvenile sex crimes Juveniles who commit sexual crimes refer to individuals adjudicated in a criminal court for a sexual crime. Sex crimes are defined as sexually abusive behavior committed by a person under the age of 18 that is perpetrated "against the victim's will, without consent, and in an aggressive, exploitative, manipulative, and/or threatening manner". It is important to utilize appropriate terminology for juvenile sex offenders. Harsh and inappropriate expressions include terms such as "pedophile, child molester, predator, perpetrator, and mini-perp" These terms have often been asso
  23. Critique of risk factor research Two UK academics, Stephen Case and Kevin Haines, among others, criticized risk factor research in their academic papers and a comprehensive polemic text, Understanding Youth Offending: Risk Factor Research, Policy and Practice. The robustness and validity of much risk factor research is criticized for: Determinism, e.g., characterising young people as passive victims of risk experiences with no ability to construct, negotiate or resist risk. Imputation, e.g., assuming that risk factors and definitions of offending are homogenous across countrie
  24. Prevention Delinquency prevention is the broad term for all efforts aimed at preventing youth from becoming involved in criminal, or other antisocial, activity. Because the development of delinquency in youth is influenced by numerous factors, prevention efforts need to be comprehensive in scope. Prevention services may include activities such as substance abuse education and treatment, family counseling, youth mentoring, parenting education, educational support, and youth sheltering. Increasing availability and use of family planning services, including education and contraceptives hel
  25. Mental/conduct disorders Juvenile delinquents are often diagnosed with different disorders. Around six to sixteen percent of male teens and two to nine percent of female teens have a conduct disorder. These can vary from oppositional-defiant disorder, which is not necessarily aggressive, to antisocial personality disorder, often diagnosed among psychopaths. A conduct disorder can develop during childhood and then manifest itself during adolescence. Juvenile delinquents who have recurring encounters with the criminal justice system, or in other words those who are life-course-persistent
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