Capital punishment and the death penalty are very controversial issues concerning modern times. Many people have different opinions about how a criminal should be disciplined in the court of law, but there is no one right or correct answer. Although, 80% of Americans are for the death penalty.
Presently, thirty-eight states have the death penalty, but is the concept of "a life for a life" the best way to castigate a criminal? Of the thirteen states that do not have the death penalty, is crime more likely to occur there than in states that have the death penalty? (The Economist, April 1, 1995, p. 19) Have there been criminals wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death row? Does the death penalty really scare criminals off and make them think twice about committing a crime? Is the death penalty fair to everyone, even the minorities and the poor? How does mental illness and retardation come into play?
When a person is sentenced to death by lethal injection in New Jersey, the provisions of N.J.S. 2C: 11-3 say that the "punishment shall be imposed by continuous, intravenous administration until the person is dead of a lethal quantity of an ultrashot acting barbiturate in combination with a chemical paralytic agent in a quantity sufficient to cause death." Prior to the lethal injection, the person shall be sedated by a licensed physician, registered nurse, or other qualified personnel, by either oral tablet or capsule or an intramuscular injection of a narcotic or barbiturate such as morphine, cocaine, or demerol. In the provisions of the N.J.S. 2C: 49-3, it says that the
Commissioner of the Department of Corrections determines the substances and procedure to be used in execution. The Commissioner shall also designate persons who are qualified to administer injections and who are familiar with medical procedures, other than licensed physicians. Also, persons conducting the execution must be unknown to the