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Capital Punishment Death Penalty Essay

1410 words - 6 pages


The United States is the only western DEMOCRACY that executes offenders; other countries decided that death penalty violates moral standards for punishment. Maybe death penalty raised so many issues for any system of punishment, such as the humanity of the punishment and the veracity of the clemency process. But death penalty goes back to ancient times and has been used in the United States since colonial times. I am not a religious person, but I believed in God and also according to the bible in Deuteronomy 19:21, gives the phrase, “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Also other books of the Old Testament call for the death of ...view middle of the document...

Opponents of the death penalty states that are not a solution to violent crimes but in reality, executions are the moral punishment to criminals committing specific crimes. The United States Supreme Court and most death penalty supporters said executions saves innocent lives. During the late 1930’s up to 1970’s a number of state legislatures made several changes to hope of appeasing the court in the way the death penalty was administered. Accepting other changes, the court ruled in a series of decisions in 1976 that death penalty was constitutional as long as its administration followed new guidelines. This decision allowed executions in U.S. Public support for the death penalty was rising because the violent crime rate was increasing. This increase caused the total number of executions from 1930 to 2001 to reach 4,608. A States legislature has made changes to the law to please society.

Some of these include the state of Missouri in 2001, when the state passed a new law banning the execution of the mentally retarded. Thirty eight states authorized the death penalty. Indiana and Missouri were among the 15 which now ban such executions. Also Georgia’s Supreme Court; was the first appellate court to rule that electrocution is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. So, with the ruling the state switches to the use of lethal injection under a law to provide an alternate method of execution. Alabama and Nebraska are the only states using the electric chair as a method of execution. There are five methods of execution used in the United States: lethal injection, electrocution, lethal gas, hanging and firing squad. The most commonly used method today is lethal injection and electrocution.

Many people are against the death penalty because they feel that innocent people will be wrongfully executed. Sadly but it is a fact, also it’s a fact that our system is not a perfect one. After reading the article “The Texas Clemency Memos” by Alan Berlow, I can understand the fact that the justice system makes mistakes. Mistakes that are the result of incompetence and in some cases corrupted group of people including the governor, but mostly his legal counsel. In the case of George W. Bush and his counsel Roberto R. Gonzales, he failed in a numerous of occasions to provide the governor with crucial issues like ineffective counsel, conflict of interest, mitigating evidence, and even actual evidence of innocence. I also understand that time cannot be reverse to prevent the executions of those people, but what we can do is to accuse the people involved in this clemency process and make them accountable for their actions.

Despite of the many controversies, we need to understand that some crimes are so terrible that the people who commit them deserved to die, actually they have forfeited their right to live. Death penalty saves lives and saves money because capital offenders that stay in prison for life may cost a lot...

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