Lieux et formes de pouvoir / Places and Forms of Power : La peine de mort aux Etats-Unis - Anglais - Terminale S

Lieux et formes de pouvoir / Places and Forms of Power : La peine de mort aux Etats-Unis - Anglais - Terminale S

Nous vous invitons à consulter ce cours d'Anglais de Terminale S, rédigé par notre professeur, consacré au thème "Lieux et Formes de Pouvoir" (Places and Forms of Power) sur la peine de mort aux Etats-Unis.

Vous étudierez donc les différents points de vue concernant la peine de mort aux Etats-Unis : les arguments pour, et les arguments contre. Vous vous intéresserez alors à la question suivante : la peine de mort est-elle une question de couleur de peau ?

Téléchargez gratuitement ce cours d'Anglais pour le Bac sur le thème "Lieux et formes de pouvoir / Places and forms of power" et la peine de mort (death penalty).

Lieux et formes de pouvoir / Places and Forms of Power : La peine de mort aux Etats-Unis - Anglais - Terminale S

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Abolished in France in 1981 under Francois Mitterrand ‘s presidency, Death penalty is still a highly controversial subject in the USA. As many states abolished it, some are reluctant to do so. Errors of justice are numerous and the cost is booming.

Most American people are questioning the use of such treatments. Even if some other parts of the world death penalty is used such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the USA do not know yet if the whole country should stop practicing this judgment.

The basis of questioning is the morality of such an act. The Supreme Court decision of 1976 made it quite clear that it was a question for individual states to decide and not the decision of the federal government. 

Lieux et formes de pouvoir - Places and forms of power - Bac Anglais

The debate is still vivid among American people. 


THE DEATH PENALTY PROS

For some Americans, the possibility to punish a person by taking his life is a way to prevent further possible murder.

Indeed, they think that after his release a murderer or a convict can commit a second terrible act. 

Other convicts would think twice before committing their crimes.


Retribution is necessary otherwise the whole society will be undergoing a total chaos. The Death penalty is fair representation of the values defended.


Many opponents to the Death penalty talk about the risk of killing innocents, but the number of errors is low and people defending this process think that the game is worth playing. 

Some clemencies have been granted thanks to DNA tests.


THE DEATH PENALTY CONS

For many activists, death penalty is costing more than keeping someone in jail for a long time not to say for a life sentence period.

In a period of crisis, they urge the government to make some savings for the budget sake. 


For others, men can not consider themselves as god and therefore they cannot take people’s lives. 

They cannot use the eye for an eye argument. 

The debate is also based on the innocence principles. 

Activists insist on the fact that now thanks to DNA test it is possible to identify real criminals and therefore stop injustices.

Many cases have been resolved and many people have been declared innocent.


Places and forms of power - Death penalty - Anglais Bac

John Thompson was one of them. In 1999 just few weeks before he was supposed to be executed, his lawyers discovered evidences which had been hidden by the prosecution. John Thompson had already spent 28 years in jail and he was released but neither the prosecutors nor the state had to face charges or had to pay damages and interests to Thompson. He only got a bus ticket home and a 10 dollars’ banknote.


Claude Jones and Cameron Todd Willingham

They didn’t get that chance and they were both executed even if they were innocent. 

The first one was accused of a fatal shooting in Texas in 1989. He constantly declared that he was innocent, but the police asserted that some of his hair were on the crime scene, therefore that he was there. The DNA was not available at that time, later on it was asked to governor George Bush to test the hair. Permission refused. Claude Jones was executed in 2000. Ten years later the hair were tested and it was proved that the hair belonged to the victim.


The second one was falsely accused of arson in which 3 young girls died. But a psychiatrist expert declared he was a sociopath. Todd Willingham declared he was innocent but he was executed in 2004. Less than five years after his execution and thanks to an investigation made by the New Yorker, it was proved that the expert was a death doctor who always declared the prisoners either as sociopath or as a terrible threat to society and that he was often paid by prosecutors to be thier trials.


DEATH PENALTY: A QUESTION OF RACE?

Justice is said to be blind (it represented with a blindfold covering her eyes). In the Usa it seems that the blindfold has slipped away. A black defendant is more convicted than a white one 4 more times. Statistics also show that a white person has more chances to get killed by a black.

Black convicts are more numerous in prison because of murders and drug dealing than whites and many organizations think that because of their poor living conditions, black people have more chance to be arrested for a crime.


Death penalty is legal in 34 states and the most used method is lethal injection. The electric chair is not really reliable as a it can take several minutes to kill the person. The lethal method is considered softer as the criminal is already sleeping before the injection.

But some criminals are waiting more than 10 years in the death row before their execution. They are excluded from other prisoners and cannot follow programs. They spend 23 hours alone in their cell and a number of them lose their mind.

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