Capital Punishment.

Essay by polish00B+, December 2003

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Capital Punishment is the execution of criminals by the state, for committing crimes, regarded so hideous, that this is the only accepted punishment(Schabas, 7). Capital Punishment does not only lower the murder rate, but its value as retribution alone is a good reason for handing out death sentences. The most severe of all sentences is the death penalty. It requires law enforcement officers to kill the offender. The death penalty also deters murder by putting the fear of death into would-be killers(ACLU, internet). A person is less likely to do something, if they think that harm will come to them. Another way the death penalty deters murder, is the fact that if the killer is dead he will not be able to kill again. The key part of the death penalty is that it involves death; something which is rather permanent for humans, due to the concept of mortality.

Ever since the 1650's colonists could be put to death for denying the true God.

However, use of the death penalty has declined throughout the industrial western world since the nineteenth century. In 1972, there was a movement in America to have the death penalty declared unconstitutional during the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia, which declared the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment. However, after a supreme court decision in 1975, Gregg v. Georgia, which stated that capital punishment did not violate the eighth amendment, executions commenced again under state supervision(Stevenson, Internet). The three most common death penalties are the gas chamber, lethal injection, and the electric chair.

Capital punishment has become an increasingly controversial issue over many decades. While some people feel that capital punishment will not discourage crime, capital punishment should be legalized in all states, because it is morally just and it will deter crime. Supporters of...