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"The transmission of such a price-list does not amount to an offer to supply an unlimited quantity of the wine described at the price named, so that as soon as an order is given there is a binding contract to supply that quantity. If it were so, the merchant might find himself involved in any number of contractual obligations to supply wine of a particular description which he would be quite unable to carry out, his stock of wine of that description being necessarily limited. I entertain, I confess, a very clear opinion that the Solicitor-General was quite right in arguing the case on the assumption that no sales were made in this country." Lord Herschell Just over one hundred years ago the above ratio-decendi was given in what was at the time a case concerned with alleged back taxes owed by Grainger & Son. Grainger & Son henceforth referred to as G&S were British wine merchants who as a side venture passed on the price lists of a French wine producer to their customers. G&S received a commission on any orders placed with said producer and paid tax on this commission. Gough claimed that tax was payable on the whole value of these sales not just the commission element. Monsieur Roederer henceforth Mr R was a wine producer located in France. He decided whether to accept orders the orders gathered by G&S or not. The reason for this being that the wine was shipped out ahead of any payment being received and Mr R wanted to vett his customers credit worthiness. The wine was shipped directly to the customer in the UK from France. Most customers settled their accounts directly with Mr R. A few customers instead made payment to G&S who would pass on to Mr R any amounts in excess of the commission they happened to be owed. In summary the flows of events are: Mr R, located in France, sends price list to G&S in Britain G&S distribute price list Customer places, for want a better word, an order with G&S for wine produced by Mr R G&S forward order to Mr R Mr R dispatches wine to customer Mr R dispatches bill for said customers wine to G&S for onwards transmission G&S forward bill to customer Customer sends payment to Mr R "“ occasionally made to G&S who forward this to Mr R Mr R sends receipt to customer G&S pay tax on commission received G&S maintained that they entered no contracts regarding Mr R's wine. Gough held the converse view that G&S entered contracts themselves and thus sold Mr R's wine. Our starting point must be to define what a contract under English law is. The Jurists Bentham and Austin have laid down that the "two main essentials of a contract are these: first, a signification by the promising party of his intention to do the acts or to observe the forbearances which he promises to do or to observe. Secondly, a signification by the promise that he expects the promising party will fulfil the proffered promise." More precisely to form a contract under English law the following elements are required i a valid offer has been proffered by the first party to another party or parties ii the offer has been accepted unchanged by the second party or parties and this has been communicated to the offerer . iii there is an intention by all parties to create legal relations when they entered into the contract and the parties have the capacity to contract iv the promises made within the contract are for valuable executive consideration and v the terms of the contract are certain. Did Mr R make an offer through the medium of his price list. Looking in Mozley and Whiteley"s Law dictionary an offer is "An expression of readiness to do something e.g. to purchase or sell". Mr R is saying that he is willing to sell wine. Based on this definition initial opinion would say that the price list does constitute an offer. Continuing with this line of thought G&S acted in an agency capacity for Mr R making an offer to the customers they approached and receiving the acceptance of any order. If the customers accepted G&S's offer made via the medium of the price list then Mr R merely shipped directly from France. The bills for said wine were sent to G&S who would then forward them on to the British customer. These points all suggest that the sale was made in the UK by G&S. The listing of Mr R, in the Post Office London Directory, as trading from G&S's establishment further hints at an agency type arrangement. Much of the argument supporting the invitation to treat viewpoint is by drawing analogies with cases involving auctions such as Payne v. Cave 1789 and Harris v. Nickerson 1873 in which both concluded that bidders make an offer which the auctioneer is free to accept or not. The bidder's offer being retractable until accepted by the auctioneer . The pricelist could be seen as statement of the minimum price at which Mr R would bewilling to sell wine drawing analogies with Harvey v Facey 1893. Mr R's supply of wine in any year is finite and demand could outstrip supply leaving an impossible back log of orders all demanding specific performance. Mr R could possibly, though extremely doubtfully, claim the defence of frustration as the things contracted for no longer exist. Add to this Mr R's option to reject any order makes it appear that his price list is an invitation to treat as otherwise it would be an offer that is subject to revocation without notice. Acceptance of an offer has to be communicated. At the time of this case, 1896, the only readily available methods of communication for distant parties were the postal system or telegram. The postal rule would apply to any customers acceptance sent via these mediums and hence any revocation of the offer would be impossible The final item to consider is the peculiar concept of consideration to be found in the English legal system and those derived from it The 1677 Statute of Frauds made consideration vital in any contracts not made under seal. G&S received no consideration for the wine therefore they could not be a party to the contract. [Transfer of title occurred only between Mr R and the customer]. That occasionally the payments for the wine were made to G&S instead of directly to Mr R was held to be equivalent to Mr R, for the sole convenience of his customers, operating a British bank account to receive payments. Graiger v. Gough was one of the major cases in the creation of the principle of invitation to treat. In order to explore this principle more fully the case will be re-examined as it occurred today. Once again the starting point is was the price list an offer or merely a willingness to deal. There are a number of variants on an invitation to treat these are: pre-contractional negotiations , shop displays and finally advertisements. G&S's supply of the price list to potential customers is a form of direct marketing and falls under the last of these three categories. To be classed as a unilateral offer the price list would have to show some intention to be bound by pro-offering a tangible benefit, in excess of sales puff, that could be accepted by performance rather than communication . Is there any similarity to Bowerman v. ABTA 1995 or Carhill v. Carbolic Smokeball Company 1892. If the answer to this is a negative then the next step is to determine where the act of offer & acceptance occurs. In a face to face situation such as a shop the customer offers to buy goods by presenting them at the till and the shop either accepts or rejects this offer to buy. The goods on the shelves are merely invitations to treat in keeping with the findings of Fisher v. Bell and Pharmaceutical Society of GB v. Boots Cash Chemists. The views of this in America and the European Community are slightly different. Although it seems odd that a shop would not want to sell its stock the English legal system is designed to achieve consistency even if it has to distort the persons actual intent. This produces oddities such as Partridge v. Crittenden 1968 where a newspaper advert to sell wild birds was found to be an invitation to treat not an offer to sell so the defendant escaped prosecution under the Protection of Birds Act 1954 . A key point in the original Graniger v. Gough was where was the contract made. Today the location of the act of contracting can be different depending on the mode of acceptance. The postal rule puts acceptance at the place of posting. Where both parties use a telex or nowadays facsimile machine the Court of Appeal decided in the case of Entores Ltd v. Miles Far East Corporation 1955 that the contract was entered into when and where the acceptance was received. Lord Denning confirmed, obiter" that the same principles also apply to acceptances by telephone. Answering machines and voice mail are assumed to at maximum delay receipt of the acceptance till the next working day rather than grant them an agent status capable of entering contracts. Faulty hardware, lack of link & paper or sloppy business practice, such as not checking the fax for days, does not stop or delay the acceptance of an offer. Public holidays and weekends however do delay acceptance till the next working day. E-mail contrary to popular belief is not always an instant form of communication. An e-mail may pass through a number of third parties networks & servers and could quite possibly be considerably delayed. Also the recipient has to actively retrieve their e-mail from their service providers or works mail server. The Uniform Laws on International Sales Act 1967 sets out that the acceptance of an offer becomes effective at the moment the indication of assent reaches the offeror . But is the offer accepted in the country of the readers computer or where the email server is hosted? If a person picked up the contents of their phones answer machine in a country different to that which said machine was in, where was the contract made. Within closed networks or Electronic Data Interchange systems mail delivery is more reliable and it may be possible to tag the e-mails so they generate a receipt message upon reaching their destination and upon being read. The EDI Trading Partner Agreements will also outline when acceptance takes place and which countries laws apply. If Mr R had a website that could receive customer orders would it be an invitation to treat or an electronic contracting agent ? A non-interactive site just listing his wines would most certainly be classed as an advert. This question is under consideration by may of the worlds legal minds. Unfortunately the Argos £2.99 television and recent Kodak £100 digital camera incident never made it to court so there is no precedent. The Kodak site took the customers order and issued an order confirmation which the customer was asked to retain for warranty service. Consumers would believe that having placed their order and given their credit card details and been told that the £100 will be charged to their card along with receiving an acknowledgement ,that their purchase has been made. This "clickwrap contract" is what the law calls a "contract of adhesion" -- a contract you didn"t really bargain over in any way, but which was presented as more of a take-it-or-leave-it offer . Kodak made such a bad bargain that everyone wanted to take it The only case on web based retail sales so far is American where the court stated "such an automated, ministerial act cannot constitute an acceptance" which does little to resolve the issue. As international web based commerce increases, instances similar to Gough v. Granger will become more common. Will the concept of invitation to treat expand outside of legal systems based around Anglo-American common law bringing some consistency to the dynamics of offer & acceptance or will the EU idea of its an offer until the stock runs out be adopted.
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"The transmission of such a price-list does not amount to an offer to supply an unlimited quantity of the wine described at the price named, so that as soon as an order is given there is a binding contract to supply that quantity. If it were so, the merchant might find himself involved in any number of contractual obligations to supply wine of a particular description which he would be quite unable to carry out, his stock of wine of that description being necessarily limited. I entertain, I confess, a very clear opinion that the Solicitor-General was quite right in...
bad bargain that everyone wanted to take it

The only case on web based retail sales so far is American where the court stated "such an automated, ministerial act cannot constitute an acceptance" which does little to resolve the issue.

As international web based commerce increases, instances similar to Gough v. Granger will become more common. Will the concept of invitation to treat expand outside of legal systems based around Anglo-American common law bringing some consistency to the dynamics of offer & acceptance or will the EU idea of its an offer until the stock runs out be adopted.

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Living Wills, sometimes called Advanced Directives,...Living Wills, sometimes called Advanced Directives, are legal documents accepted in all 50 states. They clearly define a person's wish to decline life-support or medical treatment in certain circumstances, usually when death is imminent. Generally, a living will takes effect when a person becomes terminally ill, permanently unconscious or conscious with irreversible brain damage. A living will also allows a person to state with particularity the forms of treatment are wanted and not wanted. For example, if a one does not want artificial life support, then sign the living will stating that desire. It is also important to discuss your beliefs and wishes with you family, spouse and other people whose opinions you respect, such as clergy, physicians, attorney or an accountant. Living wills are recognized in every state, but each state has different requirements. If someone is interested in making a living will, contact an expert in the state that you live in, such as a hospital, local agency on aging or local bar association. To help ensure that the living will be honored, give copies to family members, physicians, lawyer and other involved in caring for the person's welfare. Federal law now requires most health care facilities hospitals, nursing homes, HMOs and home health agencies to ask patients if they have a living will or would like to complete one. Can Medical Care Legally Be Stopped If There Is NO Living Will? When there is no written document, a spouse or close family member may still request that treatment be withheld if the patient cannot do so, but the request could be denied. The way states and health care providers handle such cases varies widely. Typically, a doctor or hospital representative will meet with a person's family to discuss what that person's wishes were. In some cases a health care facility may want to withhold or provide life support against a family's wishes. In some cases a formal hearing may be held to determine how to proceed. How To Make A Living Will The rules for preparing a living will vary from state. Some states require that the document be signed with the same formalities required for execution of a will, but many state recognize the effectiveness of more informal declarations. Generally a living will: Should Be in Writing. Should Be Signed and Dated. Should Be Signed Voluntarily Should State Specific Treatments It is evidence of the patient's wish, and it is the patient's wish that has legal force, not the document. Living wills cannot request euthanasia or unreasonable treatment. Living wills, once activated, should ensure that your physician and the medical facility uphold your health care treatment beliefs and wishes. Your family or your physician cannot revoke them; your living will can only be revoked orally by you or by court acting on your behalf. With a living will, you maintain control over your end-of-life decisions. If your wishes are explicitly stated in your living will, your doctor and your family should not be able to supersede them. As long as your wishes are known, they should be respected. Limitations to the Power of a Living Will Remember that living wills only become active when the patient becomes terminally ill "“ when death is imminent and the patient can no longer communicate his/her wishes to their physician, spouse, or family. Living will DO NOT become active immediately after you sign them. It is important that one discuss their feelings about health care options with their physicians. Many doctors are not yet comfortable with the idea of living wills so they may be hesitant to encourage their patients to consider the alternatives options and issues surrounding living wills and health care options. In addition, the legality of living wills is still being challenged in about 25 percent of all cases, decisions are made -"“ by family or physician "“ that are contrary to the patient's wishes as stated in their living will i.e. the court determined that the patient's death was not imminent, therefore, the constraints and treatment preferences stated in the living will were not yet activated. However, living wills are preferences stated in the living wills are gaining legal power in the eyes of the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of honoring a refusal of treatment and stressed the difference between types of end-of-life decisions and physician-assisted suicide. The living will can be written or oral. It must not have been made under pressure or coercion. The person must have been competent of that time to make the decisions involved. This is presumed unless there is evidence to the contrary. Note: a person may have a mental illness and still make a valid living will as long as they understood the implications of what they were doing. Competency means competent to make the decisions in question, not necessarily competent to make other decisions such as, relating to financial affairs. If the living will applies exactly to the circumstances that subsequently arise, health care professionals must follow it. If it does not apply exactly, by describes a general wish, then the health care team should consider it among other evidence of what the patient would wish. Relatives may also be able to supply information on the patient's wishes. Having gathered all the information, a health care decision should be made on the basis of the patient's best interests with due regard to their wishes, as well as these can be determined. Writing Your Own Living Will When signing a Living Will make sure that a statement is enclosed specifying your "WISHES" about the extraordionary measures to be taken to keep you alive if you become permanently unconscious or terminally ill. Make sure you express your beliefs fully and as explicitly as possible. It is strongly recommended but not essential that you consult an attorney when writing a living will. Your attorney will best be able to help you develop your health care preferences and beliefs into a document that clearly states your wishes. If you do not have an attorney and still plan to write your own living will, consider obtaining a copy of a living will form from your state health department, local hospital, local Area Agency on Aging, or physician. You can use the living will form as a guide to help you think about and formulate your ideas concerning your preferences. When developing your living will, you need to think about possible treatments that you may or may not wish to receive under various conditions. Some treatments you may wish to withdraw only in certain circumstances, others you may always wish to receive. Your living will should clearly state how you feel about receiving certain types of treatment in various health-care situations. Some of the options are explained below: DNR "“ "Do Not Resuscitate" order DNR simply states that if you are deemed by a physician to be terminally ill, you do not wish to receive cardio-pulmonary resuscitation CPR if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing. You feel that CPR will be futile or will serve to only prolong your life. Surgery "“ If you become terminally ill, you may not wish to have surgery, es-pecially if that surgery is elective or if it life-prolonging in the case of imminent death. For example, a terminal cancer patient may not wish to have minor surgery, such as a tonsillectomy if they have tonsillitis. If you are writing your own will, you may want to make your wishes regarding surgery case specific, you have the ability to state what YOU want. Pain Medication. A living will should address the types of medication you wish to have administered and under what circumstances. Respirators "“ Respirators are a means of artificial respiration for patients who cannot breathe on their own.. If you disagree with the means or "artificial" medical treatments, these should be address in the living will.   

Living Wills, sometimes called Advanced Directives, are legal documents accepted in all 50 states. They clearly define a person's wish to decline life-support or medical treatment in certain circumstances, usually when death is imminent. Generally, a living will takes effect when a person becomes terminally ill, permanently unconscious or conscious...

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Electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection,...Electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection, firing squad, hanging, guillotine, and garroting. When you hear these words what do you think of? Do you feel frightened? When some hear these words they tend to say, " Oh they deserve it". In the court system that is not always the case. The question you always have to ask yourself is what did the accused do and do they deserve the death penalty? What is bad enough to deserve death? Are their certain crimes that do and then some that do not? Almost every culture through out history has relied on the death penalty and capital punishment and justified as a necessary tool to maintain order. The only thing that changed throughout time were the crimes deemed punishable by death and the methods used to kill those found guilty. Some of the other countries" laws of capital punishment seem so barbaric. In ancient India, executions were sometimes carried out by having an elephant crush the condemned"s head. Executions used to be public spectacles. In ancient Persia, one method of execution involved being eaten alive by insects and vermin. In the middle ages, methods of execution included chopping off limbs, stripping off the condemned person"s skin, boiling in oil, drawing and quartering cutting the persons innards and then tearing the body into four pieces, burning at the stake, and crucifixion. In 1692, a man refused to testify after his wife was accused of witchcraft and was " Pressed " to death. The sentence was carried out by lying him on a stone floor, placing a board over him, and piling stones upon the board. Benjamin Rush, credited with the beginning the movement to abolish capital punishment in the U.S, declared in 1792 that reform, not retribution, should be the goal of punishment. The Bible authorizes executing those who show contempt on their parents, walk without permission on sacred ground, practicing sorcery, sacrifice in foreign gods or who prostitute themselves. In the Bible Exodus 21:12 it says, " Whoever strikes a man a mortal blow must be put to death." Electrocution in the modern era. Electricity causes biological damage through both heat and electrochemical havoc. The electrical current itself abolishes the function of organs and tissues such as the brain, nerves, and heart by overwhelming the fragile bioelectrical basis of the metabolism. The voltage applied is not the most critical factor but is in fact, almost irrelevant as much as electrical pressure was a factor. The body can tolerate a lot of volts without discomfort. The type of electrical current, too, makes a difference-whether direct DC or alternating AC. The latter is more dangerous and can be lethal even with low voltage and relatively low amperage. The alternating cycle of 60 per second, which is ordinary 110-120 volt house current, will invariably stop heart action through stand still or ventricular fibrillation if the body somehow becomes part of a circuit. The gas chamber. When sodium cyanide pellets are dropped into acid beneath the seated subject in a gas chamber, extremely lethal hydrogen cyanide is produced"¦ Cyanide asphyxiates acts by choking the cells instead of blocking air intake. The gas, HCN, is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream through the lungs. The red blood cells are relatively immune to HCN. When delivered to all of the body"s cells"¦ Cyanide literally and rapidly chokes all the body"s cells to death at the same time. Hanging proponents. Proponents of hanging as a more humane method objected to the practice of beheading"¦Advocates of hanging argued that if the noose were correctly applied to the neck, consciousness would disappear quickly due to the sudden and complete blockage of blood in the head, with resultant swelling of the brain and rupture of small blood vessels. People to whom this was done too that survived swore that there was no pain before they lost consciousness. In a sense any advantages of hanging would seem to be compromised when the "drop" was added. That the drop usually resulted in the breaking of the neck and the ripping of the spinal cord, thus essentially and much more crudely duplicating the results of decapitation without detaching the head. Lethal injection. Thiopental Sodium is a fast acting drug that produces almost short -term unconsciousness after a single dose, it is also used as a " truth serum " administered in small, intermittent, carefully calibrated hypnotic dosed while the subjects counts backward from 100. A trance-like, semi-consciousness is usually reached before the count gets to 90. To complete the lethal mixture for execution, society has stipulated the addition of potassium chloride. A high level of potassium in the blood paralyzes the heart muscle. In effect, then, that would correspond to a heart attack for the condemned while in the deep sleep of a barbiturate coma. As April, 1991, the method of execution in 21 states is lethal injection. Six states grant a choice: between lethal injection and the gas chamber in MO and NC, hanging in MT and WA, or a firing squad in Idaho and Utah. The fist such execution in Texas in 1982 was attempted by prison employees. They had difficulty in trying to pierce the badly scarred veins of the condemned man with a large needle and blood splattered all over the sheets. Among those witnesses the bungled attempt was of the prison doctor. Firing squads. Firing squads was probably the 2nd most widely; cruel used technique of execution. Death was virtually instant if the person is shot at close range through the skull; the bullet penetrates the medulla, which contains the vital respirator and cardiac among others. The other way firing squads followed their orders is to aim at the condemned"s heart from some meters away. The reason for this is simple; the cause of death in these cases is normally blood loss through the rupture of the heart or a large vessel, or tearing of the lungs. Persons shot by bullet wounds that are were suffering said when they were shot it felt like hey were kicked hard by a large horse. Usually firing squads usually kill quickly because of a large number of soldiers of prison guards firing simultaneously. The guillotine. The guillotine was named after the French deputy who proposed the use of the device in 1789. It was believed to be a swift and painless device. Many people believe that the guillotine was invented in France, but it had previously been used in Italy, Germany, and Scotland in the 16th century. Guillotining was considered to be more humane because the blade was sharper, and execution was more rapid than was normally accomplished with an ax. Death occurs due to the separation of the brain and the spinal cord, after transaction of the surrounding tissues. Consciousness is probably lost within 2-3 seconds, due to rapid fall of intracranial perfusion of the blood. Garroting. Garroting is a form of strangulation by a metal collar with a clamp. The tissues of the neck are tough and the application of the contraption is highly disagreeable, the clamp also occludes the trachea. It kills by asphyxia, cerebral ishaemia. Dying is painful, deeply distressing and may take several minutes. The courts step in. By 1967 legislation efforts were under way to persuade the U.S Supreme Court that the death penalty violated cruel and unusual punishment prohibitions of the eight amendment. The court responded by staying execution by the court order pending outcome of the suits. In June 1992 the court decided that the erratic selection of offenders singled out for the death penalty resulted from lack of standards. On July 1972 the Supreme Court again ruled on the death penalty and issued 5 opinions. One decision stated that capital punishment for the crime of murder was not cruel or unusual punishment. They also ruled that to be constitutional a procedure for imposing the death penalty must provide standards for sentencing authorities. The Supreme Court rulings indicated the court would hold the states to strict standards in imposing the death penalty. The prosecutor. The prosecutor must decide weather to change the offender with an offense meriting the death penalty or a lesser offense. Assuming the occused has been charged with death penalty, the prosecutor ordinarily has to decide weather to accept a plea of guilty to a lesser offense instead. This permits the defendant to avoid possible execution in exchange for going to prison without a trial. In some situations the prosecutor makes his or her decision in cooperation with the grand jury. Since prosecutors are no more immune to human fallibility than others are, the possibility of error lurks. The defense lawyer. When the prosecutor charges a defendant with a capital offense but is willing to accept a plea of guilty to a lesser one, the defendant the oretically, has the option of accepting or rejecting the alternative. Sometimes the accused is more than likely in a state of emotional turmoil, frightened, and confused. The defendant may, in fact, not be guilty, but the defense lawyer may nevertheless advise the client to plead guilty to the lesser offense in order to avoid trial, the risk of conviction, and the possibility of execution. Should the defendant elect to stand trial, his or her fate is completely in the hands of the defense attorney. If the criminal lawyer is skillful, the chances of conviction, if the accused is not guilty, are much in the defendant"s favor. The jury. The defendant"s fate is also in the hands of the jurors. At the end of the trial the jurors are faced with a number of decisions to make, each of which can be subject to error. Race, racism continues to play an unacceptable and powerful role in capital punishment. In state death penalty cases, he race of the victim is much more important than the prior criminal record of the defender or the actual circumstances of crime. More than half of those inmates on death row are people of color, although they represent only 20% of the people of the U.S although they are about 6% of the U.S population, about 40% of those on death row are African American. Race, a 1984 death penalty case, McClaskey vs. Kemp, showed that in Georgia those who kill whites are four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill a black person. At the federal level, black and Hispanic defendants are disproportionately selected for capital prosecution. Since 1988, the federal government has sought the death penalty in 92 cases. Of these, 56 defendants 61% were black, 11 were Hispanic, 5 were Asian, and 20 were Caucasian. Women, in comparison with men, women are less often prosecuted for capital crimes, and less frequently sentenced to death. Nevertheless, 47 women are awaiting execution in the U.S. In February 1998, Kayla Faye Tucker was executed in Texas despite her obvious rehabilitation. Her case drew worldwide attention, and many clemency pleas, including those from human rights activist Bianca Jogger, the Rev. Pat Robertson, and Pope John Paul II, one of the jurors in her case, and the brother of one of her victims. As April 1998, Florida executed 54 year old Judy Buenano also. 3 women in AK, IL, and TX were given the death penalty in 1998. Juveniles, In 1988 the U.S Supreme Court ruled that persons less than 16 when they committed the crime may not be sentenced to death. Currently in 14 states not including MO and as well as the federal government ban the execution of those who were younger than 18 when he killed. At this present time, 51 death row inmates, all male, were less than 18 when they committed the crime. Three fourths of them were 17 and a quarter were 16 years old. Texas" death row holds 20 of the 51; nine men have been executed for crimes committed at age 17, none since 1993. In 1997, at least 6 juveniles ages 16 or 17 when they killed were condemned to death. In February 1999, OK executed Sean Sellars for a horrendous crime he committed when he was 16. In 1992, a defense-sponsored psychiatric evaluation concluded Sellars had multiple personality disorder. But the 10th U.S circuit court of appeals, based on a technicality said it could not grand relief. Statistics, There have been 18 total executions in the new millennium and nine of them have been in TX. Between 1930 and 1980 there have been 3,860 executions in the U.S of this number, 3,380 have been executed for murder. Rape, armed robbery, burglary and aggravated assault no longer are capital crimes. Only 32 women have been executed. Since 1930 half of all persons executed were non-white. By 1983 polls revealed nearly 70% favored capital punishment. Questions you have to ask yourself about the death penalty. Does a prisoner have the right to die quickly rather than wait for years while the appeals process drags on? Why does the appeals process take so long? Why, in a time when many countries have abolished the death penalty, does the U.S still execute criminals? Is the death penalty jut, or is it a legalized form of murder? Does the death penalty actually prevent crime by frightening potential crimes? Is it cruel to kill someone in an electric chair or gas chamber? Is it fair to all Americans that some states have strict death penalty laws while others employ long, complicated legal procedures that make it almost impossible for a criminal to be executed? Samuel Hand, The North American Review, December 1881 wrote an article titled Deserved Retribution. It said, Capital execution upon the deadly poisoner and the midnight assassin is not only necessary for the safety of society, it is the fit and deserved retribution of their crimes. By it alone is divine and human justice is fulfilled. Robert Rantaul Jr., Report to The Legislature, 1836 wrote an article titled Death Penalty Unnecessary. It said, It is not necessary to hang the murderer in order to guard society against him, and to prevent him from repeating the crime. If it were, we should hang the maniac, who is the most dangerous murderer. Society may defend itself by other means than by destroying life. Massachusetts can build prisons strong enough to secure the community forever against convicted felons. You may have been close minded about capital punishment before you read my paper and if you were you still probably are, but the one thing I hope you saw were all the sides and views of capital punishment.   

Electric chair, gas chamber, lethal injection, firing squad, hanging, guillotine, and garroting. When you hear these words what do you think of? Do you feel frightened? When some hear these words they tend to say, " Oh they deserve it". In the court system that is not always the case....

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As an electrician, when I make...As an electrician, when I make application for a job, the prospective employer wants to know the usual information; education, character through personal references, and professional ability from former employers. The disclosure of professional acumen is derived primarily from former employers and is limited to ability and punctuality. The object is to discover if I can accomplish the tasks expected of a master electrician in an acceptable timeframe. There is no extensive look at specific methods of mechanics or schools of thought concerning leadership, just a check to make certain that I can get the job finished on time and on budget, with the crew furnished. Selecting a Supreme Court justice is basically the same process. The President picks a nominee and the Senate checks his or her education, personal references, and past public performance; then votes yea or nay. This scenario bears out in both the debates of the Constitutional Convention and in the Federalist Papers. In the minutes of a debate dated July 21, 1787, between Madison, Randolf, and Mason of Virginia; Pickney of S. Carolina; Ellsworth of Connecticut; Morris of Pennsylvania; and Gerry, of Massachusetts, the discussion centered on who should nominate, then confirm justices. Madison made the point that the President should make the nomination because he represents the whole of the United States, and that the Senate should, ""¦let a [simple] majority reject" after stating "that he [Madison] was not anxious that two thirds should be necessary to disagree to a nomination" Indeed, in the Federalist Papers Madison favors the third option that the judicial nomination should be vested "in a single man, with the concurrence of such an assembly [the Senate]"; behind the options that "the power of appointment" should rest, "in a single man, or in a select assembly [the Senate]". The use of words like "concurrence" and "approbation" indicate that unless there is something in the character or conduct of a nominee, the Senate should "concur" with the President's pick and Madison states so in Federalist 76; "It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity". Again in Federalist 76, "it is not likely that their [the Senate] sanction would often be refused, where there were not special and strong reasons for the refusal". Mr. Madison seems clear that the choice of magistrates should not be reduced to the advancement of partisan issues, but that the stature of such a person should be held above the fray. The refusal of Senate Democrats to accept a nominee on the basis of a candidate's political views is contrary to the framers intent. It would seem that any choice made by this President specifically, is unworthy of such a degree of impartiality considering the Senate's past conduct when the pendulum swung the other way. That thought process, brought to consensus to in the convention and detailed in Federalist 76 was designed to prevent favoritism and cronyism in the Senate by representatives from particular parts of the country, "give us the man we wish for this office, and you shall have the one you wish for that"; and to hold the President to the nomination of qualified people. The logic lies in the fact that the President, elected then as today, by electors of the state legislatures to this day there is no federal right to vote represents the whole of the country, while members of the legislative branch had ,and have, regional loyalties. It was thought that the Senate would not be likely to reject a qualified nominee of good character because they will be immediately be confronted with another nominee of the President's choice, and the second pick may not be as palatable as the first. A case in point would be the bipartisan rejection of Harriet Miers, apparently now considered less objectionable by Senate Democrats than the President's current choice of Judge Alito. The good news is that the system is working as designed and we are witness to the operation of a 216 year old machine that is running as smoothly today as the day it rolled off the line in 1789. Those who divine the myriad of conspiracies concerning the nomination of Ms. Miers I must admit that I am standing with the crowd that is scratching its collective head on that one, the predominant one being that she was a Trojan horse to make Judge Alito more palatable to Senate Democrats, need to familiarize themselves with the intent of the founders as I am sure the President has. It is as inconceivable to me that the President would act in such a cavalier manner with respect to Ms. Miers' feelings, as it is that she would participate in such a vile conspiracy.   

As an electrician, when I make application for a job, the prospective employer wants to know the usual information; education, character through personal references, and professional ability from former employers. The disclosure of professional acumen is derived primarily from former employers and is limited to ability and punctuality. The object...

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In the United States, true equality...In the United States, true equality has never existed. From the Declaration of Independence to modern times, the U.S. legal system has failed in any attempt at equality. The ideology of "all [men] are equal but some [men] are more equal than others" has been present throughout the history of the U.S. Orwell. Inequality has always existed in the United States legal system and continues to exist today; however, the inequality presently in the system is not as blatant as what it once was, but the system has come to depend on inequality. Since the very beginning of a legal system in the United States, there has been inequality. The Declaration of Independence declared that ""¦all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"¦"Jefferson. The reality of the Declaration of Independence was that all free, white, landowning men are created equal. Slavery continued in the U.S. for nearly ninety years after the Declaration, and black Americans still feel the sting of inequality. Women were also left out of ""¦all men are created equal"¦." The implied meaning of the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence is what the U.S. legal system has strived for and failed to grasp fully. After the establishment of independence in the United States, the development of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights ensued. The Bill of Rights was to establish the basic rights of every citizen of the United States, but failed to do so. The rights of white, male citizens were the only rights that were ensured by the Bill of Rights. The rights of blacks and the underprivileged were not even considered. The Fifth Amendment states, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury"¦, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation" "Constitution", Amendment V. These rights were often denied to those that were second class citizens or those people that were not even considered to be people, such as slaves. The rights ensured by the first ten amendments have been denied to some part of the population at any given time in American history. The denying of the basic rights established by the Bill of Rights is not limited to the any one amendment. Even today there are cases that cite the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment, as a basis for defense. The First Amendment right to freedom of speech is probably the most challenged in today's society. With the "Information Age" upon us, the right to free speech has been seeking out its limits and future potential. Because of the extent of free speech and peoples use of it to speak out against the government, there is inequality currently in the system. People who use their voices against the system are often caused a great deal of legal troubles while those that use their voices to support the system are free to do so at will. To return to America's early history of inequality, one must look at the black codes. The black codes are defined as "laws [that] were designed to replace the social controls of that had been removed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution [1865], and were thus intended to assure continuance of white supremacy" "black codes". The Grandfather Clause and Jim Crow Laws were all part of the black codes of the South. "[The Grandfather Clause]"¦provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting"¦[T]hese clauses worked effectively to exclude blacks from the vote but assured the franchise to many impoverished and illiterate whites" "Grandfather Clause". Jim Crow Laws were "any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in the U.S. South between the end 1877 of the formal Reconstruction period and the beginning of a strong civil-rights movement 1950s" "Jim Crow Laws". Thus, Jim Crow Laws were a large part of black codes. Jim Crow Laws included the statute set by Plessy v. Ferguson, in 1896, of "separate, but equal" USSC, "Plessy". With the topic of Plessy v. Ferguson being brought into the situation, one must look at segregation in America as a means of the system reaffirming inequality. "In the Southern states of the United States"¦legal segregation in public facilities was current from the late 19th century into the 1950s" "racial segregation". Legal segregation in America established the fact that there was inherent inequality in the system. Because of this, "the Civil Rights Movement was initiated by Southern blacks in the 1950s and "60s to break the prevailing pattern of racial segregation" "racial segregation". As a result of this movement, Plessy v. Ferguson was overturned in the 1955 ruling of Brown v. Board of Education USSC, "Brown". This did not put an end to legal segregation, but it laid a foundation for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act was "comprehensive U.S. legislation intended to end discrimination based on race, colour, religion, or national origin" "Civil Rights Act". Though the intent of the Civil Rights Act was good, it was not as effective as it should have been. It failed to end inequality in the system. Inequality has evolved to fit the newly reformed system. Not just racial inequality adapted to the system, but also inequality towards the indigent and towards women. After all, inequality is not limited to cases of race. Women have been second class citizens since the foundation of America. It wasn't until the 19th Amendment passed in 1920 that women gained the right to vote "Constitution", Amendment XIX. This was fifteen years after the 15th Amendment provided that the right to vote would not be denied on the basis of race or colour Amendment XV. Yet, it wasn't until the 24th Amendment in 1964 that poll taxes where prohibited and voting became more accessible to the indigent Amendment XXIV. Even though these steps were taken to eliminate inequality in most forms, inequality still occurs in the system. The modern legal system in the U.S. has come to not only accept and hide inequality, but also to depend on inequality to function. Perhaps David Cole said it best, "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do"¦" 5. The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can be used to illustrate this point. Cole summarizes the case: Clarence Earl Gideon, a penniless Florida man, down on his luck and charged with breaking and entering a poolroom, claims that although he can't afford a layer, he has a constitutional right to have a lawyer appointed by the state to defend him. When the Florida trial court denies his request, [Gideon] represents himself, and is convicted. From prison, [Gideon] sends a hand-written note to the Supreme Court asking it to hear his case. "¦Abe Fortas [is appointed] to argue Gideon's case, and then [the Court] rules that the Sixth Amendment guarantees indigent defendants the assistance of a lawyer in all serious criminal trials. On retrial, with a lawyer paid for by the states, Gideon is acquitted. 63 The Gideon v. Wainwright may not appear to support the previous statement: "Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do"¦" Cole 5. The outcome of Gideon requires government to provide a lawyer to a defendant, "[b]ut as long as the state provides a warm body with a law degree and a bar admission, little else matters" 64. Even though the state provides indigent defense counsel, most are "underpaid, overworked, and given insufficient resources to conduct an adequate investigation and defense" 84. Cole states that in 1990, "[t]he national average per capita spending on local and state indigent defense was $5.37" 84. Cole also points out other facts about the ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright: One of the most remarkable facts about the constitutional right declared in Gideon v. Wainwright is that it was not a constitutional right for the first 184 years of our Constitution. The Sixth Amendment guarantees that 'In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right"¦to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.' But for most of our history, this right applied only to the approximately 10 percent of criminal trials that take place in federal court, and even there is meant only that defendants who had the money to do so could hire and attorney to defend them. 65 What this establishes is the inequalities of defense in the legal system. Those defendants that cannot provide their own council are at a disadvantage since the council they are appointed is often inadequate. The legal system has come to rely on the disparities of defendants as means of producing convictions, and thus as a reason for perpetuating inequality in the system. The inequalities of the justice system can also be shown in the evolution of laws in more resent times. When laws begin to affect large numbers of white middle- and upper-class people, the laws begin to change. An example would involve the spread of marijuana use. Strict laws of the early and middle part of this century prohibiting the use of marijuana were imposed because the majority of users were lower-class minorities. But during the 1960s and 1970s, the use of marijuana spread though the youth of white middle- and upper-class America Cole 152. This spurred changes in the judicial system to ease the laws affecting marijuana use. Cole summarizes the situation: "When the effects of a criminal law reach the sons and daughters of the white majority, our response is not to get tough, but rather to get lenient" 153. The American legal system has never been truly equal because it was founded on inequality and has always depended on inequality. The system could easily be changed to eliminate those inequalities, but that will not likely happen. "Challenges to measures that disadvantage blacks, other minorities, or women face an inordinate burden to prove purposeful action, and the tendency to ignore the appearance of discrimination or stereotyping"¦; and moral skepticism that doubts that white men discriminate anymore and questions the credibility and motives of challengers who claim otherwise" have lead to support of inequality Kairys, par. 22. So long as there is a majority dependent on the disparities of a minority, the system will maintain its current sanctity. In doing so, the system will remain dependent on inequality and provide means for future inequalities. The American legal system will always adapt to allow for inequalities.   

In the United States, true equality has never existed. From the Declaration of Independence to modern times, the U.S. legal system has failed in any attempt at equality. The ideology of "all [men] are equal but some [men] are more equal than others" has been present throughout the history of...

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