Capital Punishment: Just or Unjust?

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A man by the name of Gary Mark Gilmore spent most of his life either in trouble or in jail being punished for it. He was born December 4 1940 and he grew up in Portland, Oregon. He was abused by his father and when the family moved to Salt Lake City, he started on a life of crime. When the family moved back to Portland, Gilmore became a neighborhood tough and dropped out of school at the age of 14. His involvement in a car theft ring opened his long criminal record. He was arrested a second time, and was sent to a boy's reformatory, where he spent most of the time in solitary confinement. After his release, he was arrested again and spent much of the two years in jail. In 1961 he moved back with his parents, but was arrested two more times, the second time tearing his cell apart when he learned that his father had died of cancer. Gilmore was in jail for 11 years, and was released in 1976. Three months later on July 19, he killed a service station attendant during a robbery attempt in Utah. The following night, repeating the crime, he murdered a 25-year-old motel manager. Both men, married and having children, had been shot twice in the back of the head. Gilmore was caught, convicted, and, in October 1976, was sentenced to death. On the morning of January 17, 1977, Gilmore was led from his cell on death row to a vacant cannery, tied to a Rivera 2

beat-up office chair, and read his execution order. A hood was placed over his head and the five marksmen, seated 10 feet away behind a canvas curtain, fired at a black target pinned on his chest, and Gilmore died, the first man in the United States to be put to death following the ten-year moratorium on capital punishment ended by the Supreme Court in 1967. (Mill 57)

Capital punishment does not only lower the murder rate, but it's value as retribution alone is a good reason for handing out death sentences. Support for the death penalty in the U.S. has risen to an average of 80 percent.

The death penalty...
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