Writing an Academic Paper: Controversy Analysis on Death Penalty in Texas Sample

Controversy Analysis on Death Penalty in Texas

Death penalty or capital punishment is the process whereby an individual receives punishment by death for a crime. There was the re-instating of the death penalty in the Gregg v. Georgia case law of 1976 in the United States. The state of Texas started executing people in 1982, starting with Charles Brooks Junior and ever since the state has executed over 500 people, the highest number all over America. The major crime leading to the death penalty is murder. However, in the recent past, many people and activist groups including lawyers are expressing their opinions of not concurring with this form of punishment. The two reasons for the controversy are that the executed might be innocent, and the death might be painful.

     In the year 2009, the state’s governor Rick Perry allowed the execution of a man [1] . After the exercise itself, there were those experts that were of the opinion that there was likelihood that the executed individual was innocent. There were those of the opinion that the evidence that was material in case was flawed. Innocence of the executed is the main reason for the controversy. Those against the death penalty feel that there is great probability that some of those facing execution are innocent. Even after delivery of rulings in court cases, there are cases that evidence is provided even after many years, and there is proof of innocence of the inmate. However, after an execution, even after the discovery of new evidence, little can be done, as the individual is already dead. Mark White, former governor between 1983 and 1987, was of the opinion that there should be the consideration of the death penalty. It was a change in thought by Mark as when he was governor; he was a death penalty supporter. Mark was of the opinion that some innocent people might have suffered death for a crime they did not commit.

     Those people for the death penalty are of the opinion that justice under the rule of law provides that one must suffer the same fate as the victim. It means that those that murder deserve to die. However, to counter this allegation is the opinion that despite the sentenced individual not having the right to kill, the state does not have the right to kill even the killers.

     In 2014, the death penalty was under another controversy. At this instance, lawyers of victims were looking to have the district court allow the prison officials disclose the source of the injection used in capital punishment. According to the lawyers, the need to know the suppliers of the injection was because of the likelihood that the death is painful. It is unconstitutional for the inmates to suffer painful death hence the need to reveal the source [2] . The prison officials in their defense were of the opinion that it was not right to reveal the supplier, as the supplier’s life would be in danger. According to the prison officials, the revelation had occurred in an earlier instance, and the consequences were very critical. The district court ruled in favor of the lawyers a decision that was overturned by the Texas Supreme Court.

     There are two controversial issues that the Texas’ death penalty faces, the possible execution of innocent people and the possibility of a painful death. Despite the two issues, it is evident that not many people are in support of this form of punishment. The number of those inmates executed is a major concern to those who feel that there is the need for the state to take into account the right to life. The controversy deepens further by those of the opinion that the right to life is both a legal and natural right.



Bedau, H. A. The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. London: Oxford University Press, 1998.

McKinley. J.C. "Controversy Builds in Texas Over an Execution”. The New York Times. October 19, 2009.

Cunningham, A. "Texas death penalty faces controversy”. March 31, 2014. Retrieved from  http://www.dailytoreador.com/news/texas-death-penalty-faces-controversy/article_cc694fee-b94c-11e3-8358-0017a43b2370.html.

[1] McKinley. J.C. "Controversy Builds in Texas Over an Execution”. The New York Times. October 19, 2009.


[2] Cunningham, A. "Texas death penalty faces controversy”. March 31, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.dailytoreador.com/news/texas-death-penalty-faces-controversy/article_cc694fee-b94c-11e3-8358-0017a43b2370.html


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