Capital Punishment- The Final Say

Essay by jaegermeister21High School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Susan Smith intentionally drove her car into a lake with her two children strapped to the back seat, but the jury decided that capital punishment is too cruel for murdering her infant daughters. The word "capital" in "capital punishment" refers to a person's head. In the past, people were often executed by severing their head from their body. Today, in the U.S., most prisoners are murdered by lethal injection. Capital Punishment has been a major issue in today's society; seventy-five percent of Americans believe that capital punishment is constitutional and moral, and while it is a proven fact that it does not deter crime, many people are sure that 'eye for and eye' belief should be an unquestionable law. A lot of people do not know that it costs more to execute a person than to keep him/her in prison for life, despite that 749 prisoners have been executed since 1977 and 3700 are still awaiting execution.

One of the major issues over death sentence is if it is even constitutional to execute a person. The Constitution does not directly state whether the capital punishment is legal but it mentioned in two amendments. The Fifth Amendment states " ... nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law..." (The Constitution of the United States, 5th amendment). Abolitionists (people that are in favor of abolishing the capital punishment) find their argument in another amendment: "... nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted" (The Constitution of the United States, 8th amendment). Abolitionists also find support in the Christianity: during the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus urged to replace the old law of 'an eye for and eye and tooth for a...