Part I will focus on the death penalty in the civilian sector of the United States. It begins with a brief history of and an introduction to death penalty laws in the United States. A critical examination of the primary arguments used to justify the death penalty follows. Part I next offers a brief overview of other independent reasons for the abolition of the death penalty. After having concluded that the application of the death penalty is unfair in the civilian sector and should thus be abolished, the article will then shift its focus to the death penalty in the military sector. The nexus in arguing that the death penalty should be abolished in the civilian sector and then in the military sector is both simple and logical: if the administration of the death penalty in the civilian sector is unfair and unjust, it is even more so in the military sector because of its inherent unfairness. Part II of the article will first provide a brief synopsis of the military courtmartial system and will then highlight the major differences between the military and civilian justice systems. These major differences will lead to the inevitable conclusion that the military justice system is inherently unfair and therefore leaves no room for possible mistakes when the life of a service member is at stake. Because the military system is innately unfair, this article recommends that Congress abolish the death penalty in the military.
Michael I. Spak,
It's Time to Put the Military's Death Penalty to Sleep ,
49 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol49/iss1/5