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I have chosen to look at the Death Penalty in America. Each state in the US has a different view on what is and what is not a ca - Research Paper Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction Death penalty or capital punishment is the lawful imposition of punishment by death especially for capital offenses. It has been applied by many nations as a form of punishment especially Arab nations…
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I have chosen to look at the Death Penalty in America. Each state in the US has a different view on what is and what is not a ca
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I have chosen to look at the Death Penalty in America. Each state in the US has a different view on what is and what is not a ca

The execution of those who have committed capital offenses varies from country to country depending on the laws in place and in America it varies from state to state. Some states like Wisconsin, Michigan, New Jersey, Hawaii and the District of Columbia have already abolished the use of death penalty while states like California, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Texas among others still enact the practice (Galliher et al. 6). According to (Berkowitz, 66), capital punishment has been in use for many years, since the time of King Hammurabi, as well as during the Roman Empire. However, it has spurred a lot of controversies along political, judicial and moral lines. The proponents of the death penalty argue that it deters crime especially homicide but researchers have over the years established that even though the punishment continues to be imposed, the states that have long abolished the practice have lower rates of murder than those that continue to use it (Morrison, 2011). This begs the question whether death penalty really deters crime. Criminologists argue that death penalty is necessary as it’s a preventive social measure however, religious leaders belief in sanctity of life thus making intentional killing immoral. On the other hand, the offenders are given a chance to defend themselves and appeal before being sentenced to death though this does not prevent innocent people from being convicted. The constitution of many states also seems to offer too much protection to the accused person which then raises the question whether this contributes to further crime. The paper will discuss the various states that support death penalty and those that do not as well as the pros and cons on the death penalty and why it should not be adopted by every state. History of Death Penalty Death penalty is not a new phenomenon as it was in existence as early a 10th century A.D in Britain where criminals were punished by hanging (Herrmann, 4). Later, they were punished by burning and beheading among other cruel means. The first person to be executed in USA was Captain George Kendall for being a spy for Spain in 1608. Nowadays, more means of execution which are more humane have been put in place such as use of lethal injection, electric chair, and gas chamber. Under the 8th amendment on the constitution, death penalty is prohibited as it is cruel and unusual but some states still enforce it. The offenders in early times did not have many protections as they do now. A death row inmate can have his/her sentence reduced to life imprisonment if s/he can prove that the sentence was racially discriminatory (Death Penalty Information Center). The convicts are also provided with defense attorneys, investigators and experts and the jury and the judge have to be qualified. They are also entitled to make appeals which are paid for using tax payers’ money. Besides, some states protect the women and the mentally retarded as well as the juveniles against such punishment. In the past, a convict was executed without delay unlike nowadays where the process is too lengthy and those convicted are rarely executed as they die of natural causes before execution; the time between conviction and execution is 25yrs hence convicts have ample time to appeal (DPIC). In the past offenders were executed for committing crimes such as; murder, treason, and drug trafficking. Many states nowadays execute the offenders for committing first degree murder although some states are calling for ... Read More
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