Death Penalty

Topics: Death Penalty, Capital punishment in the United States, Murder Pages: 12 (3165 words) Published: October 1, 2012
Research Paper

The Death Penalty

Are you willing to vote to take the life of a guilty person or even an innocent person in prison? Many would answer yes to those who are guilty because they would think that the prisoner deserves it, but what happens when that guilty person turns out to be innocent. The Death Penalty is one of most common sentences in prison that would make people wonder if it is the right or wrong idea to give a person in prison. Death Penalties have been around for centuries, it went from guillotine to lethal injection, but the biggest issue was “Was it worth it to take the life of a guilty person?” Advocates of the death penalty argue that this sentence deters crime. Some also say that it is a good tool for police and prosecutors to makes sure that convicted criminals do not offend again and that it is a fair penalty for atrocious crimes such as child murders, serial killers, and torture murderers. Opponents of capital punishment oppose that not all people convicted of murder desire a death penalty. Some also say that execution discriminates against minorities and the poor, and that it encourages a "culture of violence" and most of all it violates human rights. It is frequently argued that capital punishment leads to miscarriage of justice through the wrongful execution of innocent persons. Many people have been proclaimed innocent victims of the death penalty. What are we going to discuss in this topic is if it is good to keep the death penalty or stop the death penalty and just keep plain lifetime punishment. With the advantages and disadvantages that we’re going to present in this topic should help on how can we determined the issues of death penalties and the impact it can have in this society.

Ancient Babylonia (in modern-day Iraq), contained the first known death penalty laws. Under the law, written in the 1700s B.C., twenty-five crimes were punishable by death. The crimes included adultery and helping slaves escape but murder was not one of the twenty-five crimes. The methods of execution were much more extreme than they are today, including crucifixion, drowning, beating, burning and impalement. (Timeline of the Death Penalty)

On August 6, 1890, New York State used an 'electric chair' to carry out the first execution by electrocution. As it turned out, the process was hardly quick or painless. It took two surges of electricity, one of them lasting more than one minute, to kill the murderer. The electricity burned the victim to death. Despite the inhumane procedure, people still thought electrocution was more efficient than previous methods of hanging. It soon became the preferred method of execution in the United States.

Currently, more than half of the countries in the international community have abolished the death penalty. However, 72 countries still use the death penalty, including China, Iran, and the United States. In 2004 at least 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries, although the actual number may be greater, according to reports.( Timeline of the Death Penalty)

The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty should reflect the "conscience of the community," and that its application should be measured against society's "evolving standards of decency". This latest report suggests that 60 percent of Americans do not believe that the death penalty is a deterrent to murder. Moreover, almost 40 percent believe that their moral beliefs would disqualify them from serving on a capital case. (Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty)

The death penalty today is a hot topic for many. Several examples include the Troy Davis case. Troy Anthony Davis was an American man convicted of and executed for the August 19, 1989, murder of police officer. Davis maintained his innocence until his execution. In the 20 years between his conviction and execution, Davis and his defenders had support for his innocence from the public, celebrities, and human rights groups. Many...
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