28 November 2012
Death Penalty: Morally Wrong? Appropriate Punishment?
Since 1976 when the death penalty was reinstated by the United States Supreme Court there has been approximately 1,317 convicted criminals executed. Out of those executed, 12 were female. These executions have been held in 34 different states with Texas being the highest at 37 percent. The majority of the time lethal injection and the electric chair were used. However, gas chambers, hanging, and a firing squad have also been utilized (“Stewart”). Since the reestablishment of the death penalty in the United States, if it is considered cruel and unusual punishment or if it is an effective and moral way of punishing criminals has been an ongoing issue (“Update: Death Penalty”).
Debate over the constitutionality of the death penalty has been a part of U.S. history due to the strong emotions and standpoints citizens hold on it. Supporters say that if a person is convicted of murder then he or she deserves death as their punishment. They often believe that executing convicted murderers will benefit the victim’s family members and many of the states who held executions allowed the victim’s family to observe. Opponents believe that the death penalty is outdated and a gruesome robbing of a prisoner’s human right to live (“Update: Death Penalty”). The question remains on if the death penalty should be outlawed in the United States or remains a legal procedure.
Critics state that there are too many flaws in the U.S. criminal-justice system to validate a punishment as irrevocable and extreme as the death penalty. Putting criminals to death sends a confusing and morally difficult message to the U.S. population (“Update: Death Penalty”). Innocent past victims of the execution have undoubtedly been killed and there are currently people on death row that are not guilty of the crimes they are charged with committing. Even though the death penalty is legal in the...