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Death Penalty Essay

2270 words - 10 pages

Abolishing the Death Penalty

Controversies over the American courts using such a method as the death penalty, which is the punishment of execution administered to someone convicted of a capital crime, have been around since 1846 when Michigan eliminated capital punishment for all crimes except treason. Some argue that it is the best answer for murder while their opponents claim that this punishment is still cruel. The cessation of an individual’s life through the death penalty should never be an option in the courts of the United States due to how atrocious the punishments are. Courts in the United States should really contemplate the abolishment of the death penalty since there is ...view middle of the document...

Throughout America’s history, death penalty abolishment has risen, but it seems as if the country is still stuck on the idea that America needs capital punishment in its legal system. It will be difficult and it's going to be hard to take it away from the courts, but it can be done. To illustrate, the number of citizens that oppose the death penalty has steadily increased, especially recently, where support for capital punishment has dropped to fifty-five percent while opposition has reached thirty-seven percent in 2013 (Berman and Barnes). Compared to the 1996 poll, where seventy-eight percent of Americans favored it and only eighteen percent opposed it, the gap between the supporters and opponents shrunk forty-two percentage points in those seventeen years (Berman and Barnes). Therefore, the increase of people opposing the death penalty is shown in America’s polls since more people are seeing it as a flaw in the American courts. That is to say, the death penalty could definitely be taken away from American courts. The history of the death penalty shows that it is outdated and in recent polls, it can be seen that less Americans are favoring the death penalty. One of the reasons for less people favoring it might be that more people are opening their minds and seeing that death penalty is just a form of legalized murder.
Capital punishment in the U.S is one of the debates in the courts in this country mainly because the supporters of it see it as a necessity to get rid of the criminals whose crimes were immoral, but opponents see it as being legalized murder. Even though the death penalty does execute only criminals, it is still ethically wrong to kill a human being since it violates human rights and is definitely unconstitutional. According to writer Michael Muskal, “The 8th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.” This proves that the death penalty is unconstitutional because the execution of someone is clearly cruel and unusual punishment since the criminal could be sentenced to life in prison instead. Although the 8th Amendment to the Constitution is open to interpretation, the fact that the states induce unnecessary pain to the criminals is still not right. Additionally, during the trial procedure, there is pressure on the courts to be one hundred percent right because it is a matter of life or death that the convicted felon is facing. There are obviously mistakes that are made in the courts, which could lead to the deaths of innocent people. According to The Los Angeles Times in “A Death Penalty Overhaul”, “A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that at least 4.1 percent of people on death row could be wrongly convicted.” The fact that at least four percent of the convicted inmates who have been sentenced to the death penalty are innocent is another error in the capital punishment usage in this country. When the government kills innocent people, does that also...

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