Discuss at least two of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in regards to the death penalty and how it has impacted capital punishment in the United States. IMPACT OF THE DEATH PENALTY ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Over the years, there have been occasional incidences of execution of criminals for various capital offenses in the country (Bureau of Justice Statistics). This was practiced in various states with numbers varying in individual states. However, there were oppositions to these rulings since some people argued that it was an inhumane way of punishing capital offenders. In the case of Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 153 (1972), there was debate over declaring the death as punishment for rape. After a suspension of the case for four years, it was decided that it was unjust to execute rapists and thus there were reforms throughout Supreme Courts invalidating this law. In fact, it was against the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
In the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana, 554 U.S. 407 (2008), involving the rape of a 12 year old girl by his stepfather, the ruling was against the death penalty. It was argued that one should not be sentenced to death since the victim did not die. They laid out debate that it was unfair to kill such a criminal since it was not a capital offense compared to other cases involving outright murder.
There is a trend showing that with the passing of time, capital punishments had to be revised so as to allow justice and consistency in the rulings of court. No evidence has shown that the death penalty had an effect on the rate of crime in any state. This was because, if anything, it contributed to murder at all levels and the devaluation of human beings.
Dezhbakhs, H., & Shepherd, J. M. (2003). Capital Punishment and Deterrence. The Deterrent
Effect of Capital Punishment , 1-9.