Capital Punishment

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The Debate Over Capital Punishment One of the biggest controversies of this decade is capital punishment. "Capital punishment is the lawful infliction of the death penalty" (Grolier's). There are man different ways in which to carryout the death penalty some "methods of inflicting the death penalty have ranged from stoning in biblical times, crucifixion under the Romans, beheading in France, to those used in the United States today: hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and lethal injection" (Grolier's). Even though somewhat humane methods of capital punishment have evolved over the centuries, it should not be used as a form of punishment by governments.

Governments should not use capital punishment because; innocent may be found guilty and sentenced to death, at times it can be applied unfairly, lastly it does not deter future murders from taking place. One of the riskiest outcomes of capital punishment is the execution of innocent people.

The execution of innocent people is one of the most dangerous results of capital punishment. Inmates were exonerated while they were on death row in many cases.

"DNA testing has exonerated death row inmates. Here, too, the justice system had concluded that these defendants were guilty and deserving of the death penalty. DNA testing became available only in the early 1990's, due to advancements in science. If this testing had not been discovered until ten years later, many of these inmates would have been executed. And if DNA testing were applied to some of the earlier cases where inmates were executed in the 1970s and 80s, the odds are high that it would have shown that some of that some of them were innocent as well" (Conrad 45).

Our justice system is not "fool proof" so there are times when outside factors must come into play, in order for an...