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Essay/Term paper: Capital punsihment

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Essays

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Capital Punishment

There once was a man, long ago, that was sentenced to death for crimes the government said he had committed. He was not a murderer or a thief. He wasn"t a rebel he was just a normal man doing what was right. Since the government saw him as a threat to them they sent him to death. An innocent man was killed. This man was the most influential man in history. He was Jesus Christ. Capital Punishment is one of today"s many issues brought up in Congress. Does the government have the right to take a life?

Capital Punishment has been around since ancient times; it has been used as a punishment for crimes ranging in gravity form petty theft to murder. Modern opposition to capital punishment arose in France in the 18th. Century and spread through Western Europe, where most nations abolish such laws in the 20th century. In the US the death penalty was applied with decreasing frequency after World War II, and in 1972 the US Supreme Court voided all federal and states laws calling for the death penalty on the grounds that condemned persons were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the 8th amendment to the Constitution. The court left open, however, the possibility of new, constitutional laws, since then the U.S. And most states have enacted measures imposing the penalty in specified kinds of murder cases.

Capital Punishment is one of the oldest institutions in America.Americans have implemented capital punishment ever since Daniel Frank of Virginia was put to death in 1622. Since then more than 18,000 convicted felons have been put to death. There is not enough evidence to prove whether or not capital punishment deters crime. If the state governments used the death penalty consistently it could become an effective deterrent of violent crime. When trying to determine whether capital punishment does deter crime criminologists are forced to compare states that do have capital punishment to those that hardy do. This makes it almost impossible to learn anything from the study. The opposition of the death penalty has been successful in limiting the use of the death as well as the methods used. The government if the Unitied States has brought and end to public executions and mandatory capital sentencing as well as costing courts to give an appellate review in capital cases. Some state governments have never implemented the death penalty, and others have experimented with temporary or total abolition of capital punishment. State legislatures have also tried to develop more humane methods of execution.

Much of American laws regarding capital punishment came from British law, including the separation of types of murders. The classic definition of degrees of murder allows juries to convict murders of different types of murders depending on the seriousness of the crime. The American colonies also inherited the English law code, which contained several dozen capital statutes. American legislature soon reduced this list greatly. It included about a dozen offences from murder to witch craft.

Many state legislatures changed their methods of execution to keep within the limits of the Constitution. Many opponents of capital punishment have augured against the death penalty because they feel that it is cruel an unusual punishment and goes against the Constitution. States have reformed their methods of execution to try to make them as humane as possible. Before the Constitution people were pressed to death, drawn and quartered, and burned at the stake. These forms of punishment were soon dismissed because they were considered cruel and unusual by the Bill of Rights. New York adopted the electric chair in 1888 because the state felt that it was more humane than the traditional hanging since a person in the electric chair should go unconscious after the initial shock. Other forms of execution include lethal injection and the gas chamber.

There is no proof that the existence of capital punishment has decreased violent crimes. But the death penalty is not used consistently enough for a potential criminal to know that he will get the death penalty for committing these crimes. Most people fear death a great deal, and if the courts used it constantly then people would fear to do any violent crimes. Anyone committing a violent crime expects a prison sentence if caught, but they do not necessarily expect the death penalty.

Capital Punishment has been a controversial institution in America since its beginning. There has been a growing opposition to the death penalty who want to abolished because of its high cost and because it is not proven to deter crime. Reforming the death penalty might be more beneficial to society than abolishing it


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