Classroom Discussion Starter: Freedom from Excessive Punishment

You are the governor of your state. A man has been sentenced to die for first degree murder, but you've been asked to commute the sentence. What do you do? Scholars consider the difficult question using a conversation starter video that features a dramatic reenactment of the scenario. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Show the video to stimulate discussion on the Eighth Amendment and death penalty 
Classroom Considerations
  • Part of a series of videos from the Exploring the Constitution series
  • Material in the video may not be suitable for all classes
Pros
  • Dramatization offers a balance of views about the death penalty
  • Included discussion questions make using the video easy
Cons