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Psychological Climate Surrounding Death Sentence Regime in USA

  • Category(s): Moral Essays
  • Created on : 07 February 2015
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  • Version: 1.0
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  • Author: Richard Michael Lamb


Will we ever learn the lesson of history? To weaken our resolve in the face of premeditated murder is to desert all our principles and Christian religion.

1. The Principles of Criminal Justice

I start from the proposition we should all, and particularly those working in Criminal Justice, not only support but endeavour to improve that judicial process. I personally have a high regard for law enforcement agencies in this country and the USA. The criticism of US and English criminal justice based on historic convictions for murder, does little to further the debate in my view surrounding the death sentence regime, whether that historic criticism be well founded or not. That is “water under the bridge”. Defence Counsel must always firmly seek instructions intelligently, and put his client’s case fearlessly to the Court of Trial wherever located based upon those instructions. Without such conduct there is no justice.

2. The Quandary of the Condemned Man

What is the quandary of the convicted men and women in the USA who are sentenced to death for murder? Should they persist with endless and fruitless appeals or accept the inevitable, namely judicial execution or death by natural causes in custody? We should all bow sensibly to the inevitable by being realistic in life. Not doing so does no one any good, whatever we have to face. These sentenced USA Defendants, by and large, will never be released.

3. The Attorney or the Prisoner?

Do defence USA Attorneys prey upon these murder convicts sentenced to death with their desire for liberty and ambivalence to the appeal process, thereby procrastinating matters and obtaining work and kudos for themselves, namely their Attorneys? Who is really benefitting: the prisoner or the defence legal teams? I suspect the latter!

4. Falsity in the Climate

Is there an element of seeking to discredit USA criminal justice and harm the death sentence case generally in that land? There is no doubt certain USA lawyers wish to pull down the death sentence regime in the USA by undermining it with specious appeals. Some State Governors have suffered weakened resolve in certain death penalty States occasioned by the litigious and vociferous USA human rights lobby surrounding condemned men in Capital cases. A crisis of confidence has affected these Governors, and executions do not always proceed despite properly passed death sentences, e.g. California with several hundred on death row and none being executed for a number of years. The trial Judges and Courts who passed sentence of death are not being backed by some Governors.

5. Free Choice

Is the convicted murderer sentenced to death given a free choice to appeal or not by these defence Attorneys bent on pursuing their own sectional and partisan aims? i.e. To put their own interests as Attorneys first above the true needs of the murderer convicted who faces execution.

6. Interaction

The interaction: USA defence Attorney and convicted murderer sentenced to death is invisible, but I suspect it is not really functioning as it should do. The whole panoply of Justice in the USA and the decision making by State Governors suffers. The malaise spreads wide.

7. Conscience

Even the murderer sentenced to death has a conscience and still wants to do the right thing, despite his culpability for the terrible crime of murder. Is he being allowed to obey these dictates of his heart and conscience? They make him a better man able to face God His Father on death. Justice should take its course I urge.

8. Moral Issues

Are these USA defence Attorneys sufficiently dispassionate and bi-partisan? Do they properly counsel their clients sentenced to death in these very serious murder cases post-conviction and sentence? I submit the moral issues as opposed to the strictly legal ones are not being put to these sentence men and women by these USA Attorneys. The moral and legal are closely linked in these cases.

9. Appeals

A genuine appeal must be distinguished from a fallacious one. Is the wheat being sifted from the chaff by these defence Attorneys in these Capital murder cases where the defendant has been sentenced to death?

10.The Religious Element in the USA Scheme for Condemned Murderers

The Padre is relegated to last place when he should be first for the sentenced and convicted murderer facing execution. The Padre will counsel this condemned man far better than any Attorney if he is given a word in edgeways. This priest will enable this man to face his ordeal in its real nature. Clearly no Padre should undertake this role if he will not countenance the imposition of the death sentence for men and women for murder. Presumably the prison authorities and State Governors should enforce such a ruling regarding Padres.

11.The Debate of Such Effervescence

No one can tell those sentenced to death for murder and their legal teams what to do. I argue a public debate is required on these issues in the USA and England & Wales, to bring these matters of public importance to the surface currently hidden from view. The status quo in the USA is painful I concede. This impasse must be freed up. What will this debate achieve? I argue that Truth and Justice will prevail if the pros and cons of this debate are properly argued. Those USA convicts sentenced to death for murder will be the ultimate beneficiaries – indeed they will lead the way in this debate as they are at the centre of it. These death sentenced men should not be pushed from pillar to post as now occurs.


What matters most: keeping condemned men on death row indefinitely to satisfy an appallingly strung out Appeals process in the USA, and weak willed Governors in some States or carrying out the sentence of death as properly passed by these USA trial Courts for murder. The answer I submit must be the latter choice. The former has been tried and failed. I am no American citizen, but I admire those of her States who have the confidence and courage to retain and apply the Death Sentence for murder in the face of bitter criticism. I am concerned this debate should ensue on this side of the Atlantic and in the USA. If we are not careful the death penalty will perish even in the USA which is the lead country diplomatically in our World. I for one seek to start this debate now in England & Wales for our own sake and for the sake of our American Friends. We both have the best record for defending freedom and democracy in the two World Wars (with France) and as the Anglo-American alliance. The aim of freedom is proper and informed debate. Let the debate begin in earnest I say. There will be no justice without God’s law in my humble submission. American domestic justice must be upheld or the community of nations will suffer irreparably. There is a lot at stake, and the USA murder Trial Courts are leading the case for mercy and essential Judicial power and purity the World over. It takes bravery to defend right.