As the new year approaches, it appears that in 2011 there will be even more focus upon capital punishment in courtrooms, press rooms, and legislatures.
The death penalty is being considered by several states. Whether or not capital punishment should be available under a state’s penal code for sentencing in any case is being reviewed, albeit for very different reasons and in very different forums:
- The death penalty is being reevaluated simply for its budgetary impact (e.g., California).
- The constitutionality of capital punishment in its implimentation is being challenged in the courtroom (e.g., Judge Fine in Texas).
Individual defendants with high media notoriety may well have trials of their capital cases in 2011, where the prosecution and many members of the public will be urging a death sentence:
- Casey Anthony is set for trial in Orlando on May 9, 2011.
- Joshua Komisarjevsky of the Cheshire Home Invasion case is set for trial on February 22, 2011.
While capital punishment has always had its share of media coverage – murder trials always guarantee some level of public awareness, after all – it appears that 2011 may be a year where the death penalty becomes a focal point for our country, for a variety of reasons.
What this will mean for the future of death as a viable punishment option for our government? Too soon to tell but right now, it’s looking like fiscal concerns may well be very, very key to the future of capital punishment in many states.