Who’s affected? Stakeholders?

Every American is affected by the death penalty in America. Depending on what state you live in, you may or may not have the risk of winding up on death row. Here are examples of people affected by the death penalty:

  • Convicts on death row; capital offenders who receive the death penalty
  • Families, friends and neighbors of convicts on death row
  • Families, friends and neighbors of the victim(s)
  • Lawyers/attorneys, judges, jurors, employees of the criminal justice system
  • Citizens of the states with the death penalty

What are the stakeholders’ interests in the issue?

  • Capital offenders: most seek to not be executed
  • Families of convict: many seek to exonerate the capital offender
  • Families of victim: depends – some seek execution of convict while others seek closure in the form of privacy and other protest the execution
  • Agents of the criminal justice system: depends upon function of job
    • Defense attorneys: seek a drop or lesser sentence for client; appeal death sentence
    • Prosecution: seeks the harshest penalty possible for the convict
    • Judges: depends upon philosophy; some seek harsh punishments with personal conviction and others seek more moderate punishments
    • Jurors: depends upon beliefs and motivations; some seek execution; some seek innocence ruling; some want painful punishments; some want humane executions
    • Employees of the criminal justice system: depends upon job, personal beliefs, desires, and bias
  • Citizens of the states with the death penalty: seek less or no crime; seek punishment of guilty and freedom for the innocent

How are they affected?

Everyone is affected by the death penalty in different ways. Depending on many circumstantial factors, such as relation to the convicted, relation to the victim(s), emotions, involvement in the case, beliefs, and desires, the situation really determines the effect of the death penalty on any one given person. Therefore, we can only describe the depth, range and impact of the death penalty in general terms.

  • Capital offenders: the ultimate cost: death; they get no second chance
  • Families, friends, and neighbors of capital offenders: the loss of their family member, friend, or neighbor
  • Families, friends, and neighbors of victim(s): the end of the life of the convicted offender; closure?
  • Lawyers/attorneys, judges, jurors, employees of the criminal justice system: closure of case; no rehabilitation
  • Citizens of the states with the death penalty: loss of human life; risk of executing the innocent; no return of convict’s life
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