Crucial and unjust capital punishment

Essay by hkim1215 April 2004

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What is the outcome of capital punishment? Capital punishment, also referred to the death penalty, has been a controversial issue to the society for past decades. It is an ongoing debate that the society argues whether to be abolished or supported. The first established death penalty law was in the Eighteenth Century B.C., which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. By the 1700s, 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain, including stealing, cutting down a tree, and robbing a rabbit warren. The death penalty arrived in America with the English, whose laws ruled the colonies. After the revolution, English common law remained the basis of the US justice system. In the early Nineteenth Century, the abolitionist movement gained momentum and many states reduced the number of their capital crimes and built state penitentiaries.

Although some U.S. states began abolishing the death penalty, most states held onto capital punishment. Presently in the United States the death penalty can only be used as punishment for intentional killing. Still, the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment and should be outlawed in the United States. I absolutely think the United States should abolish capital punishment.

In the United States, the country most characterized by the concept of equal justice for all, however, there is disparity in sentencing. Racism is one cause of the unequal treatment. Racism plays an important factor of determining who will be sentenced to death and who will have lesser punishment. Black inmates are more likely to be executed than white inmates. According to the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund's publication, Death Row in America, 40 percent, or 1,117, of the prisoners under sentence of death were blacks, despite...