Sample Physical Science Critical Thinking Paper on Fourth Summary (Last) – Human Rights

Fourth Summary (Last) – Human Rights

Death Penalty in the US

In the US, execution methods have been reviewed and revised in a quest to find more humane options. Hanging was the standard in the 19th century, but in the 1880s, many states, led by New York, advocated for the electric chair as the most humane. The 1920s saw the adoption of lethal gas as the standard. In the 1970s, many states adopted the practice of lethal injection to find a more human way of conducting death sentences. It was widely held that all risk of pain could not be avoided in the carrying out of the death sentence since every method had some inherent risk of pain. ‘Humane execution’ is, therefore, an oxymoron and cannot be achieved. The people who advocate for the death sentence have a political or commercial interest in the outcome and have not done any medical or scientific research to substantiate their claims. While it may be possible to mitigate pain, it is unanimously agreed by many doctors that it is impossible to guarantee a quick and painless execution exercise.

Most conservatives are not ready to accept the notion that the death penalty is wrong and that the US should abolish it. There is, however, an ever-expanding group of conservatives who feel that the death penalty goes against conservative principles and should be abandoned. These people feel that a greater importance should be placed on fiscal policy and the sanctity of life and as such the government should not spend so much on killing people. They question the government’s effectiveness and efficiency in carrying out the death sentence. In the political arena, more than 80 percent of Republicans support the death penalty. Capital punishment in the US is highly politicized and sets moral principles against political ideologies.

The medical profession is against capital punishment. Doctors, however, state that from a technical viewpoint it is possible to mitigate pain, but from an ethical viewpoint it is immoral and inhumane to participate in an execution, however painless it might be. These doctors state that lethal injections are particularly problematic as they involve the use of medical technology. States have devised their protocol in conducting executions that are devoid of peer review and requisite research. These protocols contravene the checks and balances of medical balance and in any other setting, they would be considered criminal. There is no uniform policy in the US regarding medical oversight over capital punishment, and most methods come with risk. However, lethal injections have created the best illusion of a peaceful execution since the prisoner is rendered unconscious before the lethal dose is injected. That said, the medical profession is of the opinion that physicians should not participate in capital punishment as since their participation does not even upsurge the safety or security of capital punishment. While this opinion serves as a guideline for practitioners, the decision to participate ultimately rests with the individual.

The journey towards the anti-death ruling has suffered many setbacks along its path. A California federal appeal panel has overruled a 2014 ruling that could have possibly led to the abolishment of the death penalty. Most anti-death cases involve inmates appealing their sentence, but these are filled with very many procedural challenges. There are, however, arguments that the states are deliberately stifling the anti-death penalty movement through the institution of lengthy processes that are cruel and unusual.

Despite these challenges, some progress has been made. In June, Justice Stephen G. Breyer invited a significant challenge as pertains to the constitutionality of the death sentence. The objective of such a case is to invite more litigants as well as encourage courts to take a more active role.

‘Rethinking the death penalty’ is a documentary that traces the history of the death penalty in the US. It captures the opinions of George W. Buh, George Ryan, Gerald Kogan, and Dudley Sharp. It is a discussion of how DENA evidence can be used to rule out the death sentence. John Donovan also looks at how the death penalty has been administered over the years while another section examines the views of specific jurists, activists, and politicians regarding capital punishment.

Death Penalty Globally

The topic discusses the global acceptance of the death penalty. In ‘Boston Marathon bombings: The death penalty still isn’t appropriate’, the author looks at the horrendous Boston Marathon bombings of April 15 that killed three people and injured 264. In the aftermath of the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the alleged bombers, was charged in court and the death penalty sought. The author states that it is an outpouring of emotions that leads people to seek the death penalty. The justice system, however, should act as a buffer between the people’s thirst for vengeance and the good of the society as well as the rights of the prisoner. A thoughtful examination of the ethics and effectiveness of capital punishment should be applied in cases where the death penalty has been applied since other effective punishments such as life without parole are better.

Besides the emotional and philosophical questions regarding capital punishment, there is a high potential for error during the exercise, especially since there are no professional executioners. Even when medical staff participate directly in administering injections, there is still a chance of something going wrong. The margin of error increases with the absence of a professional. No one, however, wants to witness an execution, and the absence of professionals accentuates the case against capital punishment. There are, however, some physicians who take part in carrying out the death sentence. They claim that their taking part is more of an extension of their duties to patients. They are there to ensure that the execution goes on as smoothly as possible. Even with the inclusion of licensed medical personnel, the process can still encounter some hiccups. Locket’s execution is the best-known case of doctor error in the execution. Such botched executions have inspired novel safety precautions to be implemented. The fact remains that a painless execution cannot be guaranteed.

Refugees in the US

In the US, the issue of refugees is commonplace, and the number is increasingly on the rise. Refugees go to the use for numerous reasons, with most feeling that it is a land of better opportunities. The US is one of the top destination Nations for refugees. These refugees come to the US expecting a life better than that they were escaping from the wars, conflicts, and religious persecution occurring worldwide. The top origin nations for these refugees are the DRC, Iran, Bhutan, Sudan, and Cuba. The number of Syrian refugees is, however, on the rise. The US has numerous support mechanisms for these refugees, but most times they face discrimination and persecution. There have been numerous reports on this phenomena, but few ever acknowledge its severity or take measures to mitigate the vice.

Besides refugees, asylee numbers are also increasing. These asylees are granted asylum either affirmatively or defensively and include nationals from China, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Refugees and asylees have some options to choose from when seeking asylum in the US. After one year of admittance into the US, refugees can apply for lawful permanent residency, and they acquire full rights of citizenship. They can only apply for citizenship after five years of admittance.

Refugees Globally

The number of refugees is increasing by the day. These people have been made refugees by different factors and are diverse in their cultures. Conflicts, both internal and external, are the biggest contributor to the increase in refugee numbers. Children are the most affected, even though they have the least part to play in these conflicts. ‘A Child’s Century of War’ is a film depicting how modern wars have increasingly targeted and threatened children. In the film, three conflicts have been explored; the two recent Chechen wars that have led to numerous orphans, children growing up in the most dangerous street of Martyr in Hebron, and amputated, raped children of Sierra Leone. Christopher Plummer narrates the stories of children and cuts into the stories of children currently in danger. The film also offers an insight into how the future will be.

Conflicts not only increase the number of refugees, but they also lead to deaths. At the commencement of the last century, nine out of ten war casualties were soldiers. In this century, nine out of ten of those killed in wars are civilians.