Capital Punishment

Essay by HyperbolaeHigh School, 10th grade October 2014

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Iva Rosic

The 8th Amendment


Capital Punishment

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a legal process through which a person is executed by the government in response to a committed crime. The United States is one of the few industrialized democracies that still practice capital punishment, where its use varies from one state to another. There are eighteen states in the United States that do not practice capital punishment, the first being Michigan, which abolished it shortly after entering the Union. The methods of executions have also altered over time, from lethal injections, gas chambers and electrocutions, to firing squads.[1: "States With and Without the Death Penalty," Death Penalty Information Center, accessed 03.04.2014, ][2: "Cruel and unusual? A short history of capital punishment in the U.S." CBC News,accessed 03.04.2014]

Triggering many debates, Capital Punishment remains an abiding controversial topic. Passions in the US are distinctly divided, though equally strong among both supporters and protesters of the death penalty.

While advocates of the death penalty believe it will bring an end to the escalating crime, the opposition condemns it on humanitarian grounds. Although the anguish and terror endured by the victim cannot be undone, does a death sentence to the criminal offer any consolation? More importantly, if the precognition of severe punishment were meant to prevent the criminal from committing the crime, the perpetual crime rates would be a solid proof of the death penalty's inadequacy. [3: "Violent Crime Up In the U.S. For First Time In Nearly 2 Decades, Despite FBI Claims," The Huffington Post, accessed 03.04.2014 ]

Death penalty advocates frequently justify capital punishment under the principle of the Law of Retaliation, commonly known as "Eye for an eye," which is the belief that punishment should fit the crime. In other words, they...