The Case of Gary Graham - Trial | Capital Punishment in Context


capital punishment case study

Holmes was known for his proclivity to seek the death penalty in every case that was death eligible —a practice that made Harris County a leader in death sentences across the country. In his 20 years as District Attorney, Holmes’s office took between 12 and 20 capital cases to trial each year and secured more than death verdicts. Sep 21,  · Capital punishment Troy Davis execution: five egregious death penalty cases in the past year The massive outpouring of anger over Troy Davis's death a Author: Ed Pilkington. Mar 19,  · Five death penalty cases to follow in the US this year. There are an estimated 2, people on death row in the US. Here are five particularly controversial Al Jazeera Staff.

Capital Punishment | Case Study Template

In Texas, capital punishment case study, a defendant convicted of murder can be punished by death if the murder is found to have been committed under certain circumstances spelled out in the Texas Penal Code, such as the murder of a police officer or firefighter, that the defendant murdered two or more victims, that the defendant committed a murder for hire, or that the murder was intentionally committed in the course of a kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated rape or other statutorily specified felony.

The subclass of murders falling into these categories are called "capital murders. Capital trials are different from murder trials in which the defendant is not eligible for the death penalty in several ways. First, jury selection in capital cases requires that prospective jurors be "death qualified," i.

Like many counties in Texas, Harris Capital punishment case study had no public defender system. Instead, judges appointed private lawyers for defendants who could not afford to hire an attorney to represent them. Mock was reportedly popular with Harris County judges, some of whom noted the strong rapport he established with his clients.

Holmes was known for his proclivity to seek the death penalty in every case that was death eligible —a practice that made Harris County a leader in death sentences across the country.

Ten percent of those executed capital punishment case study the United States in the modern death penalty era came from Harris County. Prosecutors based their case mainly on the eyewitness testimony of Bernadine Skillern. However, they testified that it was possible that Graham, who met their general descriptions of the perpetrator, could have been the assailant.

Skillern testified that she identified Graham in a May 26 photo display and in a May 27 police station live lineup. She then identified him in court. Furthermore, Graham was the only suspect in both the photo array and the actual lineup. Defense lawyers argued that Skillern was more likely to choose the person in the lineup who matched the photo that she had already chosen.

During the trial, the defense counsel emphasized the failure of the other witnesses to identify Graham and argued that the evidence capital punishment case study to prove that Graham was the perpetrator. The defense rested its guilt phase defense without presenting any evidence or calling any defense witnesses. The trial on guilt lasted two days. After Gary Graham was found guilty of murder, an additional hearing was held before the same jury to determine whether he would be sentenced to death or life in prison.

But the Texas capital sentencing procedure is somewhat different. Sometimes the prosecution calls psychiatrists as expert witnesses to testify with apparent certainty that the defendant will commit violent crimes in the future, even if incarcerated, capital punishment case study.

By age fifteen, Graham had a juvenile record for thefts and unauthorized use of motor vehicles, had dropped out of school with only a seventh grade education, and had fathered two children. The state presented evidence that between May 13 and May 20,Graham robbed thirteen different victims at nine different locations, in each instance using either a pistol or a sawed-off shotgun.

Two of the victims were pistol-whipped and one was capital punishment case study in the neck; a year-old male victim was struck with the vehicle Graham was stealing from him; and a year-old female victim Lisa Blackburn was kidnapped and raped. The state also presented testimony that Graham had a bad reputation for being a troublemaker in the community. His stepfather, Joe Samby, testified that Graham, who lived and worked with his natural father, typically visited his mother once or twice capital punishment case study week and was a "real nice, respectable" person who pitched in on family chores and did his best to raise his two young children.

Graham's grandmother, Emma Chron, testified that Graham had lived with her off-and-on throughout his childhood because his mother had been hospitalized periodically for a mental illness.

She had never known Graham to be violent or disrespectful, he attended church regularly while growing up, and "[h]e loved the Lord. In closing arguments to the jury, defense counsel characterized Graham's behavior during his crime spree as an aberration and urged the jury to take Graham's youth into account in deciding their answers to the three questions.

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Capital punishment - Wikipedia


capital punishment case study


Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Status Disparities in the Capital of Capital Punishment () — A study by Scott Phillips, a sociology and criminology professor at the University of Denver, published in the Law & Society Review focusing on the imposition of death sentences in relation to the victim’s social status. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, has been used for centuries. Recently, though, there have been many debates about whether or not it is moral. The decision is not one that can be clearly made, but two philosophers, Jeffrey Reiman and Louis Pojman, have debated thoroughly on the issue.