Monday, November 5, 2007

Self-Analysis

Participating in this blog geared toward the social sciences has taught me to step back and look at all aspects of issues and try to see from others’ perspectives. In dealing with my issue, socio-economic status and the death penalty, some say that there is no bias because the state provides lawyers. However, it is widely known that these attorneys do not always do an acceptable job. When I began this project, I believed that all trials were fair because attorneys were provided for those who could not afford private lawyers. However, upon further research, I learned of the injustice being done to the poor. One example can be found with the West Memphis Three. Dr. Ofshe represented Jason Misskelley without any experience in criminal cases. I also believe that through this project I have come to understand the problems that exist within our justice system—there are still unacceptable biases that survive and that need to be done away with. “The US’s capital punishment process discriminates on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, and geography.” I have truly started to rethink my opinion of capital punishment and our entire justice system, and am starting to believe that ending the death penalty might be the only way to fix these inequalities.

5 comments:

katiegane said...

The United States definitely has defects in its justice system, and I think that you definitely investigated one of them, the problem of socioeconomic bias, through your research. I agree that capital punishment is definitely administered arbitrarily and because of this reason, the system needs to be abolished. If it is too extreme to eliminate the system, all states need to execute a uniform plan of the death penalty so that all citizens receive fair trials. I also agree with your statement concerning appropriate representation. The United States definitely needs to make sure all lawyers are qualified to represent a client's case in a helpful and efficient manner so that the truth of a matter is determined.

Akansha said...

My thinking through this project evolved much like yours did. I agree with you in that there are certain defects withing the US judicial system. Representation in courts is one of the more serious defects present. The publically appointed lawyers, as result of being poorly paid, don't have anything at stake while defending their client. Therefore, their clients face the possibility of beign convicted to a crime they may not have committed solely because of their socioeconomic status. Since the death penalty has so many corelated elements within it, I too feel like the best way to get rid of these defects would be to get rid of capital punishment altogether.

Vahini said...

I am glad that this social sciences project has allowed you to obtain a better perspective about capital punishment. It is an issue that is such an important part of our society and yet we do not take it seriously. I agree with you that many people are unaware of the extent to which socioeconomic punishment plays a role in capital punishment because they choose to be ignorant. I feel that through research such as the one you conducted, individuals are able to piece information together and understand the effects on a more personal level. I am glad that this project allowed all of us the opportunity to experience this.

Cody Green said...

I think we all have begun to come to some of the same conclusions that you have. I also agree that the death penalty needs to be abolished, but I'm not sure that it is a solution to the problems in our justice system. A wrongful conviction is a wrongful conviction regardless of whether or not the death penalty is involved. There needs to be reform in other ways.

Haley said...

The fact that we are not giving every American the same right as the next, by providing the poor with less than adequate representation, should be seen to all as a sad realization on our society. No matter what punishment the defendant is facing, they should always have the right to a FAIR and JUST trial, and I think people overlook the fact that if the defendants lawyer is part of the equation in making the process fair and just. Are we allowing money to really control our freedom? If so, we all need to take a step back and realize what this nation was based on, heart and soul and a mix of all makes and models.