The Death Penalty, the Ultimate Punishment

Topics: Capital punishment, Capital punishment in the United States, Death row Pages: 6 (2073 words) Published: October 16, 2005
The Death Penalty, the Ultimate Punishment
Capital punishment has been in effect since the 1600's. However, in 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment, which was unconstitutional according to the Eighth amendment. It was public opinion that the current methods of execution, hanging, electrocution, and facing a firing squad, were too slow and painful upon the person to be executed. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed this decision when a cleaner way to bring about death was found in 1976. This cleaner way is death by lethal injection, which is quick and painless if administered right. The death penalty is a good form of justice because only about 250 people a year get the death penalty and they are guilty beyond a doubt and don't deserve living with the possibility of parole. The sentencing judge or juries are ordered by the Supreme Court to look for specific aggravating and justifying factors in deciding which convicted murderers should be sentenced to death. We can sit here all day and discuss whether or not the death penalty is morally right or morally wrong. I can give you case after case of innocent people who have been brutally and horrifically murdered, sometimes even children, by people who feel no remorse whatsoever for the what they did. These people deserve to die.

The United States today uses five different types of execution in the 38 states that use the death penalty. The twelve states that do not use the death penalty are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Of the 38 states that do use the death penalty all of them use Lethal Injection. Ten of the states that use the death penalty use electrocution, those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Four of the states use Lethal Gas, they are, Arizona, California Mississippi, and Wyoming. The 3 that use the Firing Squad are Idaho, Oklahoma, and Utah. The last kind of execution that the United States uses is Hanging, the three states that use hanging are, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Washington.

From 1930 until now there have been 4,838 executions carried out. Almost all of the people who received the death penalty had prior criminal records. According to an online document called; •64.3% had a prior felony conviction at the time of the murder. •08.0% had a prior homicide conviction at the time of the murder. •27.8% were on probation, parole or in jail at the time of the murder. •4.4% were incarcerated or had escaped from incarceration. •16% had accumulated more than one death sentence

The majority of the criminals have done something before being put to death. If we know that most of these people have been charged for something else why do others still want them to live if there just going to keep doing what they are doing. Capital Punishment is made to scare people out of committing crimes. If someone knows that if they kill someone they are going to die then they won't want to do anything to take that chance. But if someone knows if all they have to do is sit in jail all day and every now and then have a chance to get out they will take that chance if they get it. Without the death penalty no one would be scared and there would be a lot more crimes being committed. (Stewart)

The Gregg vs. Georgia case in 1976 ruled that capital punishment was constitutional in the United States. "On January 17, 1977 convicted murderer Gary Gilmore told a Utah firing squad, "Let's do it." And became the first prisoner since 1976 executed under the new death penalty laws." (Longley) Just because the Gregg vs. Georgia case said that it was constitutional to execute people didn't mean that every state wanted to. There are still 12 states today that don't use the death penalty because the think that it is wrong and it is cruel and...

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Ban Den Haag, Ernest. "The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense." Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial legal issues. Ed. M. Ethan Datsh. Guilford CT: Duskin Publishing, 1993. 255-260.
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Capital Punishment. Wikipedia. 3 Dec 2004.
Green, Frank, Rethinking the death penalty. Richmond Times Dispatch. 30 Sept, 2001
Longley, Robert. Recent Legal History of the Death Penalty in America U.S.Govinfo/resourses. 2 Dec 2004.
Sharp, Dudley. "Do we need the death penalty?" World and I online. 2001.
Stewart, Steven D. Methods of Execution. Clark county Prosecuting Attorney. 6 Dec 2004.
The Death penalty in the U.S. Clark County. 6 Dec 2004
Wofford, Jana. The Death Penalty. The University of Texas. 6 Dec 2004.`tonya/spring/cap/jana.htm
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