DEATH PENALTY ROW AND TEXAS COURT SYSTEM

Part 1Answer the following reflection questions from Death Penalty Documentary. Use the video ( http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xiol4i_inside-texas-death-row_news ) you watched to answer all of the questions below. Make sure you answer these in complete sentences! Don’t be short in these questions. I expect you to elaborate on what I am asking. 1. What was your stance towards the death penalty before the film?2. Did your stance change in any way by watching the film? or did it reinforce your position? Explain3. Do you believe that each of the 3 inmates deserved the death penalty? Why or why not?4. Mark Martinez, the cousin of inmate David Ramirez, makes one of the most powerful statements in the documentary. He talks about the number of family members that are in jail and wonders whether they are “doomed from the beginning”. What do you think about this? does he have a point? Explain.5. How big of a role do you think socioeconomic factors such as education and income have on the type of people we see on death row? What other factors do you think are important?6. What do you think of the process that the inmates have to go through in death row during the film? is it humane? does it matter? Remember the 8th amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.7. Mrs. Burnett Clay, the woman who visits Johnny Rae Johnson, believes that most of the people on death row can be rehabilitated. What do you think about this? Explain.8. The political culture of Texas is deeply embedded on this documentary. Where do you see examples of that individualism or traditionalism in regards to the death penalty?9. Towards the end of the film, David Dow, Pondexter’s lawyer, makes the comment that “society should not execute the people it abandons”. What do you think of this? Does government bear any responsability for why these men ended up on death row? Explain.Part 2Chapter 11: The Court System1. Within the Texas court system, different levels of judges have different types of qualifications. Look at these in your book. Should judges at all levels be required to have the same qualifications? Explain.2. Why is the Texas judicial system so large? What has happened historically that led to this complex system?3. Why has Texas given substantial power to the justice system?

 

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