Women Who Receive the Death Penalty

4 April 2015
This paper discusses the different issues that are considered when women are tried for violent crimes.

This paper examines whether or not gender bias plays a role in the courts decisions to convict women and sentence them to death for violent crimes. In order to try to answer these questions, the paper begins by giving a brief history of capital punishment in the United States. The author also discusses some different cases where women were convicted of violent crimes and received the death penalty. The author presents the many factors that were considered when deciding on the sentencing including how gender bias affects the courts’ decision when handing down sentencing and how women are often viewed as being victims, as is often the case in domestic abuse, when charged with a crime. The final issue discussed is the role that politics plays in perpetuating how women and capital cases are often dealt with in America.
The case of Karla Faye Tucker has been famous. Karla had killed two people with a pickaxe in 1984. She was put on death row for fourteen years, and in that time, had claimed she found Jesus. She died by lethal injection on February 3rd, 1998. Why such a long wait? If Karla were a male, would the Supreme Court have to wait so long to prove an execution? Well, yes, actually. The courts want a long time to confirm the death sentence on a criminal so they can be precise and just. What perhaps happened to Karla was there were many pleas to free her and, since she was a woman, the court felt it should do something for her sake. For a while, no one had really paid a great deal of concentration to the gender bias until this recent case.

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