I do think that the death penalty is unconstitutional. I would never be able to say, as a juror, that someone should be sentenced to death. I think that is not only morally wrong, but it is an easy way out for criminals. Instead, the criminal should be sentenced to a lifetime in prison. That has a much bigger impact, I think.
I agree that the death penalty should only be sentenced by a jury- one judge should not have the power to turn a jury sentence- lifetime or otherwise- into a death sentence, even in the case of capital crimes. I think the supreme court was correct in their ruling that the process for the death penalty judgements were unconstitutional in Florida.
Under the Bill of Rights, a criminal is entitled to a trial by jury. That means that only a jury, and not an individual judge, can be the fact finder in a criminal case. Aggravating circumstances that may lead to the death penalty are included among the facts solely within the jury's province. Since Florida's law allowed the judge to find circumstances calling for the death penalty, it violates the Bill of Rights.
It is my belief that not all crimes should be equal to death, but I do support the death penalty for certain offenders. Violent or heinous crimes, those crimes of sexual abuse/rape/molestation, and the like should not be tolerated lightly. Imprisonment is not appropriate for these offenders as it is likely these people will commit the same crimes if given the chance to live in society once more especially if the crimes are extremely violent/graphic/sexual in nature. However there are certain crimes that should not be given a death sentence as their crimes are not necessarily violent or simply consist of a person making a bad choice at the wrong time.