how is relevant legislation applicable to capital punishment?
I'm writing an essay on capital punishment and the prof without much detail asks for us to explain the relevant legislation to capital punishment and applying the relevant legislation. I'm just a bit unsure of exactly what the question is asking. I was hoping someone could possibly clarify more
My guess is the professor is asking you to identify important legislation as it relates to capital punishment. As you probably know the 8th Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment, and many people feel that execution might fit that standard. The Supreme Court for many years ordered that all executions be delayed until it could settle the issue. Eventually the Court decided that states could indeed execute criminals and not violate the Eighth Amendment.
Since that time some states have moved to either ban capital punishment, limit capital punishment, or even extend the crimes for which the death penalty can be applied.
The advent of DNA testing has resulted in the freeing of several prisoners on death row when it was found they were actually innocent. This has prompted more calls for the elimination of the death penalty entirely because of fears that more innocent people will be executed.
There is a great website that tracks death penalty legislation which you will find very useful: www.deathpenaltyinfo.org