Capital Punishment - Fair and Balanced.

Essay by dgesslerCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2006

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

The issue of capital punishment is a highly emotional issue which has sparked so much debate over the decades. Capital punishment has an extremely lengthy history, but just recently, it has brought about so much disagreement among Americans. In 1975, the United States decided in the case of Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty was a cruel and unusual punishment. However, just three years later, the Supreme Court reversed their decision, and left it up to the individual states. Currently, thirty eight states employ the death penalty, and the most common form of execution is by lethal injection, following by the electric chair which is used in a few states. Although many people will continually be divided on the capital punishment controversy for years to come, the numerous facts supporting capital punishment are clear, and at the same time very logical.

Those against capital punishment believe they have some very logical arguments, but in reality these arguments cannot hold steady ground.

Many believe the death penalty is discriminatory against African Americans and other minorities. This theory cannot hold much ground since most individuals executed after 1976 have been Caucasian males (Hook). The fact of the matter is murder will always be murder; whether the criminal is black instead of white, or poor instead of rich. None of these factors are heavily taken into consideration when a loved one is killed.

These people also say two wrongs do not make a right, and executions are equivalent to murder. Murder, however, is defined as "the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought" (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Since the death penalty is the law, in no way should executions and murder be used interchangeably. There is also a huge difference between violent crime and punishment. Even though physically they share...