Death Versus Denial: a Study in Homicidal Behavior

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It is my explicit credence that episodical crimes against persons including loss of life and a blatant disregard for another’s life should be adjudicated with the same disregard as the offender displayed. Capital punishment is the one deterrent that the United States Penal System possesses to correct wrongs committed against another. The discourse of this writing will further unearth presupposition concerning heinous crimes that necessitate the most severe punishment available through law. I will reference and excerpt three Supreme Court Rulings concerning this topic. 

First, Malloy v. South Carolina 1915 (Karakus, 2018) which is relative to ex post facto law as it is concerned with execution law; this ruling proves that changing the technique of execution is not in violation of ex. post facto law. Ex. post facto law is a law that through retroactivity changes the repute of actions or relativity of relationships prior to the endorsement of the act. This may aggravate a charge, or it could change the premises of evidence. On-the-other-hand, amnesty law could lessen the illegality of specific acts (Karakus, 2018). Second, Tison v. Arizona 1987 (Karakus, 2018) is constructed around two single premises; the first states that capital punishment shall be enacted upon a felony-murder respondent who participated in the causal felony and demonstrates excessive unimportance to human existence (Karakus, 2018). Lastly, Ring v. Arizona 2002, (Justia, 2018) shows that capital punishment is admissible where exacerbating determinates have occurred, the judge then will encroach upon the defendant’s constitutional right to a jury of peers; the jury will resolve if there are aspects ample to sanction capital punishment (Justia, 2018). Further cementing capital punishment as legal, Gregg (v) Georgia (1976) came to the decision that the death penalty is not unconstitutional. 

Death by chemical intervention remains a popular and unassuming format of performing the ‘Death Penalty’; in specific arenas, an alternate form, or alternate drugs may be used if the specifics of the case necessitate a less cruel or unusual punishment (ProCon, 2016). Specifically, the result of certain medications makes the process many fold worse than other options. There are those that, to receive fair treatment, are or claim they are affected as if in a drowning sensation, therefore, their own choice of death ought to be warranted (ProCon, 2016). The congruence of these topics intersects at morality and liability. Purposeful murdering against those that cannot act for themselves is atrociously uncivilized. Antonin Scalia, former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court penned, “I do not presume to tell parents whose life has been forever altered by the brutal murder of a child that life imprisonment is punishment enough,” concurring opinion in Glossip (v) Gross June 29, 2015 (ProCon, 2016). Opposition The use of capital punishment is abolished in the Western Hemisphere, excluding the United States (Johnson & DiCastro, 2007). Life without parole is the common verbiage concerning the fate of these convicts. This debate hinges on a couple premises; neither of these allow for pre-terminal life (Johnson & DiCastro, 2007). The occurrence of DNA reversing decisions this has been adjudicated more than 120 times since 1973. Similarly, adding to the sheer numbers of the aftermath of Gary Gilmore’s execution in 1977 the United States has performed 1000 executions with 3300 currently waiting execution (Johnson & DiCastro, 2007). The process is not void of oversight. Evidence shows that misconduct by policing agencies and faulty science account for wrongful conviction cases (Johnson & DiCastro, 2007). Ineffective executions are affected by the parameters of technological advancements of capital punishment (Johnson & DiCastro, 2007). 

Staying the course of lethal injection; this method is preferred because it appears to be the least inhumane. There are several cases of electrocution and lethal injection that many people find to be extremely inhumane, however, these cases are the exception not the rule. Due to legitimate outcry, the use of electrocutions is shied away from. The Supreme Court offers lethal injection as its first option for the death penalty, second is electrocution. Methodology LaChance (2016) Bundy, strap in so we can snap in, was the premise being postured from the civilians of Florida. The quintessential opinion conveyed here is that Ted Bundy had used many attempts through the State and Federal Courts to spare his life; buckle-up was the intended communiqué (LaChance, 2016). The Constitution, via subjects heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, exhibiting judicial interpretivism (Barbour & Wright, 295) may have held the key to putting this standing issue to rest (LaChance, 2016). Verily, taking a life for another life is not the repertoire of the 21st century. However, upon credible review, each occupant of a culture has the privilege to show disregard to all forms of social norms; historical evidence fails to forward these characteristics to a person of character. Ricky and Raymond Tison, brothers, conspired to break their father out of jail (Oyez, 2018). Gary was currently in prison for murdering a guard during a previous escape attempt (Oyez, 2018). The boys brought in a cooler of contraband, cooler full of guns. The group made a safe exit, but a few days later their car got a flat tire. The group car-jacked an unsuspecting vehicle (Oyez, 2018). When Ricky and Raymond retrieved water, they shot the family unremorsefully to death (Oyez, 2018). Gary died in the desert of exposure before the police found him, and another brother died in the shootout (Oyez, 2018). Ricky, Raymond, and Randy faced four counts of felony murder , each of them received the death penalty (Oyez, 2018). The Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed the sentences, holding that while the Tison’s had not rendered aid when they could have (Oyez, 2018). The Court held that the son’s anticipation that lethal force might be used in their activity satisfied the “intent” requirement for the death penalty (Oyez, 2018). Malloy v. South Carolina 1915 did, by Mr. Justice Reynolds, deliver the judgement of the court. Moore was murdered on November 24, 1910 (FindLaw, 2018). Joe Malloy was convicted and sentenced without mercy considerations to die by electrocution as designated by South Carolina legislature 1912 (FindLaw, 2018). This judgement was found to be free of inconsistencies by the supreme court of South Carolina (FindLaw, 2018). Furthermore, Justice Reynolds wrote that the transgression committed ex post facto and in breach of [art.1,10] of implied Federal Constitution (FindLaw, 2018). At the juncture that this murder took place, hanging in the local jail was the prescribed sentence (FindLaw, 2018). However, electrocution at a federal facility would accommodate more witnesses (FindLaw, 2018). Resulting in felonious murder, Ring committed armed burglary . 

Through the course of the proceedings the jury was deadlocked on first-degree murder (Cornell, 2018). Arizona law states that the judge may assess “litigating circumstances” and “aggravating circumstances” (Cornell, 2018). The death penalty is enforceable when the judge resolves that aggravating circumstances are present and void of litigating circumstances (Cornell, 2018). Ring was deemed the actual murderer, inter alia would be imposed (Cornell, 2016). Ring’s 6th Amendment right, court by jury was struck down because the jurisdiction resolved by the judge had previously been given. Jurisprudence does not in-itself quantify variables worthy of “lex talconis” [a life for a life]. Basing logic upon this premise careens one into an abyss of false-narratives (Colbert, 2007). What is missing from this premise is, ‘the crime…, what says you,’ the Bench demands. Fallacies abound in this process; therefore, logic is an illogical response to homicidal tendencies. Colbert (2007) furthers this ponderance of legitimizing capital punishment as a resolve to behavior as an undiscovered uniform response. Raising his hand in agreement, (Lane, xvi) offers scholastic deliberation within the confines of capital punishment. Additionally, (Lane, xvii) begets optic indifference upon the inconsistencies of this subject; most commonly referred to prejudicial stances congruent to race and bias (Lane, xvii). Lane (2010) recites two-differing prospective suppositions within this dark and often side-stepped topic. Lane (3) shows a measurable decline in Capital Punishment designees during recent memory; this includes both convictions and executions. Further, (Lane, 3) provides evidence that offers lucidity to this unanticipated set of facts. Lastly, Lane interprets the capital punishment occurrences as an element of American History that must continue to protect the innocent ones. 


The course of history has shown that many convicts actively participated in capital crimes. Some have never been granted parole and thus died in place. Even more are active prisoners on the ‘to be executed dossier’. These people are ones that have chosen to disregard human decency and recklessly did as they chose. Certain crimes, specifically homicide without regard for human life, are specifically heinous in that the perpetrator displays socially unacceptable behavior without remorse. Many infamous persons fit this description, Timothy McVeigh, Charles Manson and Jim Jones all committed crimes against a group of persons with no rationale outside of social deviation. In contrast, the death penalty has followers that insist that it is inhumane and against Christ-like characteristics. This sub-set does not show justification for ‘lex talconis’ [a life for a life]. Actual life sentences do not come void of complications and controversy. The law reads that the death penalty is not unconstitutional, if this remains constant there will be executions. 


  1. Barber, C., & Wright, G., C. (2017). Keeping the Republic: Power and Citizenship in American Politics. 7th (ed.) pp. 280-293. 
  2. Sage Publishing: Thousand Oaks, CA. Cornell University Law School (2002). Ring v. Arizona. Retrieved from 
  3. Culbert, J., L. (2007). Dead Certainty: The Death Penalty and the Problem of Judgement (Cultural Memory in the Present). Retrieved from 
  4. Stanford University Press FindLaw (2018). Malloy v. South Carolina. Retrieved from 
  5. Johnson, R., & DiCastro, J. (2007). Death penalty. Dictionary of prisons and punishment. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Retrieved from
  6. Justia (2018) Ring v. Arizona. Retrieved from 
  7. Karakus, K. (2018) Quizlet: Death Penalty Examination #2: Chapters 2-4, & 11. Retrieved from 
  8. La Chance, D. (2016). Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved from 
  9. Lane, C. (2010). Stay of Execution: Saving the Death Penalty from Itself. Retrieved from (2018). 
  10. Tison v. Arizona 1986. Retrieved from (2016). Should the death penalty be allowed? Retrieved from
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Death versus Denial: A Study in Homicidal Behavior. (2021, Oct 14). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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