Week 4 discussion
Capital punishment is legal in the state of Texas. Since 1982, Texas has executed 578 people, with the most recent executions occurring this year (TCADP, 2022). In 2022 Texas executed 5 individuals. In the earlier years before 2004, the law permitted the execution of juveniles. However, with more controversies surrounding the execution of minors, the death penalty was revised only to affect adults – People aged 18 years and older (Holler, 2018). The impact of the death penalty on the affected parties has yet to be exhaustively researched. These include the immediate family members of the victims and other closely attached parties. The psychological impact of the death penalty on immediate family members is of great concern. Holler (2018) noted that the debate which led to the amendments on the age of the death penalty only to include adults was challenged from a psychological perspective. His and most other researchers delve into the sentenced victim’s intellectual capacity, leaving out the mental impacts on the affected parties. The issue the topic intends to address is the psychological impact that capital punishment has on the immediate family members of the victim.
The gap in research is the psychological impacts of the death penalty on the immediate family members in the state of Texas. To address this gap, the research aims to investigate how immediate families of victims faced with the death penalty cope with the situation and how the situation affects their psychological well-being. This includes answering research questions: How do families with one of their family members executed cope with the circumstance of pronunciation of the judgment and after execution? What is their psychological well-being before and after the execution of the victim?
Psychological well-being is a social construct and thus requires a scale constructed to measure this construct. The scales used for the same include The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being (Gao & McLellan, 2018). These shall be useful in collecting and measuring data used in the research. The paper shall take a qualitative approach to assess the situation, answer the research question and finally make recommendations over the same challenge.