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Criminal Justice and the Death Penalty

            The death penalty has always been controversial topic in discussions. There have been 1,407 executions since 1976. The death penalty was not used much from 1976 to 1990, but the numbers drastically went up in the 90's. 1999 set a record year, with executions, having 98 executions. Race in death penalties varies. White is the race with the most executions. 782 white people have been executed, while 487 black people have been executed. Those two races make up 91 percent of the races executed. The death penalty also varies by location. 32 states currently have the death penalty. The south has had the most executions, with Texas and Oklahoma having 636 together. Lethal injection was the most commonly used way of execution and still is today. It is thought to be the most humane way of an execution. There were 57 women on death row as of October 2014. .
             Inmates have been executed 22 times while on death row, for a crime they committed as a juvenile. However in 2005, the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty for juveniles. This happened because of the Roper v. Simmons case. This case was a historical case because it made a new ruling all other juvenile cases, that capital punishment should not be used against criminals under the age of 18. It was also historical because it overturned a previous Supreme Court case, Stanford v. Kentucky. That case ruled that capital punishment could be used against offenders that called for that ruling, if the offender was at the age of sixteen or older. The Roper v. Simmons case involved Christopher Simmons, who was 17 in 1993. This case took place in Missouri. The plan was to murder Shirley Cook, and Simmons planned to bring his two friends Charles Benjamin and John Tessmer. The plan was to commit a breaking and entering, then murder Shirley Cook. The plan was then executed, but without Tessmer, dropping out at the last minute. Benjamin and Simmons then broke into Cook's home then tied her up and murdered her by throwing her off a bridge.

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