Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Georgia

Why in Georgia and some states of the U.S.A people get charges for death penalty because of killing an innocent person and why they get charged for a life sentence in some other states? Are the people of the U.S.A enemy of the each other because of defferent rules in every states, especially because of death penalty and life sentence?

Asked on 1/01/16, 5:09 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

One difference between the United States and most other countries is that we have a federal system of government. That means the states aren't divisions of the national government. Instead, each state's government is separate from the national government (which we generally call the "federal government") as well as those of other states. To illustrate: In many countries, the governor of a state or province must follow orders from the central government and can be fired if the central government is displeased with his work. The governors of American states are accountable only to the residents of their own state. They must obey the law like everyone else, but the governments they head are not just parts of the larger, national government.

There are some areas of law which the federal government controls, some which the states control, and some which are partially controlled by both. Criminal law falls into the third category. There are crimes under federal law, but most crimes are governed by state law. Most homicide crimes -- those related to causing the death of another person -- are subject to the laws of the states where they happen. With very few exceptions, the death penalty only applies to first-degree murder, which is the most culpable form of homicide.

Some states have passed laws that allow the death penalty for first-degree murder, while others have passed laws that forbid it. This is a subject that many people feel strongly about. But no, it has not made the states or their residents enemies of one another.

You seem to believe the fact that there are different laws in each state is a serious problem. It isn't. In fact, it's seldom a problem at all. (It was a *very* serious problem in the mid-19th century when some states allowed slavery and others did not, but for a variety of reasons no other issue has had a remotely comparable effect.) In broad terms, the various states' laws aren't all that different. The differences do matter, but not nearly as much as your question presumes.

Read more
Answered on 1/02/16, 1:30 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Constitutional Law questions and answers in Georgia