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Criminal Law Assignment: Crime And Punishment


Task: How to determine charges for different types of crimes on Criminal law assignments so as to support accurate legal verdicts?


The State Attorney
Colorado Department of law
United States
Subject: Criminal law assignment: Case of Roberts and Steve Chapman

Is death penalty a just sentence for this crime?
As per research performed during this Criminal law assignment, it has been found that 29 states have death penalty laws, and the Federal Government have declared a resumption of the executions after a gap of 16 years. According to the prerogatives of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Code of Conduct (1991), it needs to be stated that in regards to the given case study of Roberts and Steve Chapman, taking life of an individual is never legally justified or accepted as a crime, which is punishable within the periphery of the federal law (Hood and Hoyle, 2015). The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Code of Conduct (1991) provides guidance on the use of force, wherein a closer look into the process and progress of burglary are evaluated and disseminated (Levinson et al.2014).

Research works have revealed that the deadly force behind the action is most likely to occur in the circumstances, which primarily includes Robberies in progress, along with Burglary in offices and traffic offense (Derrida, 2017). As per the FBI guidelinesreferred to during this Criminal law assignment, the suspect who is expected to cause a threat to the victim is either considered to be having a possession of a weapon, which can cause lethal consequences, along with a suspect who is capable of inflicting death under or serious form of injury showing an intention to do so (Bohm & Bohm, 2016). In the given case, the intention behind Steve Chapman to have shot and killed Roberts is quite obvious, wherein the mode of killing was deadly and that Steve Chapman is considered to be a history-sheeter. Under the FBI guidelines, it has been found that Attorney General William Barr had scheduled 5 death penalties, wherein the seven states under the FBI regulations have carried out as many as 20 death penalties. The findings of the Gallup survey released as of 25th November, 2019, it has been found that the Americans now prefer more of life imprisonment with no possibilities of parole over the death penalty when the person is convicted of killing and putting an end to someone’s life (Canes-Wrone et al.2014). The support for life imprisonment under the FBI guidelines and preferences of the states, grow from being 45% in the year, 2014 to 60% in the latest survey (Damrosch & Murphy, 2019). Therefore, I hereby hold the opinion that although capital punishment has been a controversial issue, it should not be taken as a serious and only mode of punishment to the offender, in this case, Steve Chapman.

Alternative punishments identified during the Criminal law assignmentresearch
Having a framework for imposing alternative modes of punishment for killing and murder incidences, I would like to opine that it is always better to shirk from offering capital punishment to the offender, even if he/she is accused of killing and putting somebody’s life to end. In the given case, Steve Chapman is considered to be the offender, who is also a history-sheeter and has been a black name in the history of crimes. His intention to engage in acts of felony, likely robbery both the suspects has been found guilty. With Steve Chapman to have murdered Roberts, the state seeks a death penalty for the offender, who also holds a long criminal record. Studies have found that for the jury, the confession and evidence from the potential offender , pleaded guilty needs to have possibly expected an eyewitness, based on which the entire case needs to be investigated.

The given case investigated during this Criminal law assignment was reviewed from all possible angles, wherein both the suspects have been found guilty, with Steve Chapman being accused of killing Roberts. Furthermore, it has been found that response to the police threats, followed by absence of confession and the accused person facing death penalty is evident. Therefore, considering the controversies over the death penalty and the both the suspects being found guilty, I would consider lifelong imprisonment to be an alternative punishment with no possibility of parole for the convict.

Does Death Penalty deter others from committing similar crimes?
I believe that controversies identified during the Criminal law assignmentover the imposition of death penalty remain as it pursues multiple questions, of how effective the capital punishment is. Despite of the global memorandum against the cause and execution of death penalty, under the prerogative of the United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/149 dated 18 December 2007, it needs to be stated that in most of the countries it has been observed that death penalty does not necessarily deter crimes and the criminals are seen to be having engaged in committed intentional crimes which are hatched deliberately, including brutal murders to the cause.

Yours Faithfully
Investigating Officer
Dated: 2.2.2022

Bohm, R. &Bohm, R.M., 2016. Deathquest: An introduction to the theory &practice of capital punishment in the United States. Routledge. Canes-Wrone, B., Clark, T.S. &Kelly, J.P., 2014. Judicial selection &death penalty decisions. American Political Science Review, 108(1), pp.23-39.

Damrosch, L.F. &Murphy, S.D., 2019. Basic documents supplement to international law: cases &materials. West Academic Publishing.
Derrida, J., 2017. The Death Penalty, Volume II. University of Chicago Press.
Hood, R. & Hoyle, C., 2015. The death penalty: A worldwide perspective. OUP Oxford.
Levinson, J.D., Smith, R.J. &Young, D.M., 2014. Devaluing death: An empirical study of implicit racial bias on jury-eligible citizens in six death penalty states. NYUL Rev.,Criminal law assignment 89, p.513.


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