Benny Hodge escaped from prison, where he was awaiting sentencing after murdering Joseph Acker and Mr. Acker’s young daughter Tammy. Weeks later, Hodge entered the home of Patricia Sanborn and stabbed Mrs. Sanborn to death while her two children pleaded for him to stop. He then beat and stabbed Will in front of a hysterical Chrissy, before stabbing five-year-old Chrissy nine times, killing her. Hodge stole $37 from the home before being apprehended by the police. Young Will lived through his ordeal, only to have Hodge threaten during the trial that he’d “finish the job and kill Will” as soon as he got out of prison.
Any society is based on laws. Without laws, everybody would be free to steal, kill, etc., and society would dissolve. (Read LORD OF THE FLIES sometime.)
At GA there are consequences for breaking rules. If you are running in the halls, you earn an MDR. If you do something worse, you earn a detention, breaking a still-more serious rule can result in Disciplinary Probation, and a still-more-serious can cause a student to be expelled. This is logical; the punishment’s in proportion to the offense.
In criminal law, there are consequences for breaking laws. These consequences are earned in proportion to the crime: a ticket for speeding, time in prison for armed robbery, and the death penalty for intentional murder. The death penalty is the highest penalty in the criminal-justice system.
The system is set up to make sure that the death penalty is administered fairly. If a murderer is given the death penalty, their case is automatically appealed. Only if a higher court finds the murderer guilty, after a lower court has already reached that decision, is the murderer sentenced to death. They essentially have to be found guilty twice. If either jury has any questions about the murderer’s guilt, the murderer will not receive the death penalty.
Supreme Court Justice Blackmun explains that the dea...