Capital Punishment

Essay by cr112701College, UndergraduateA, May 2008

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Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences which are deemed heinous or serious enough to warrant such punishment. Capital punishment has been practiced for many centuries in nearly all types of societies. Today, it takes on many forms but leads to the same result-the death of the accused.

Capital Punishment is one of the most widely debated and scrutinized issues in the criminal justice system in today's society. Advocates of the death penalty believe that capital punishment is necessary and is a proper form of punishment for criminals that have committed heinous crimes. However, those against capital punishment would point out that people often fail to understand that the justice system is not perfect and not every accused person who is sentenced to death is actually guilty or given a fair trial.

Presently in the United States time there are only 12 states, and one district that do not practice capital punishment. These states are Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia. Since 1976 to the present day, data from The Bureau of Justice Statistics (2007) stated that, 119 death row inmates have been found innocent and have been exonerated from capital punishment and so far 23 people have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of.

The average number of years between being sentenced and exoneration is 9.2 years. (NCADP).Giving an innocent person nine years of his or, her life back is impossible. Advocates of capital punishment believe that with the death penalty being in place, we are saving seven to eight lives a year. They say that this is...