3rd Period Contemporary Issues
22 September 2014
Capital Punishment is the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime. Capital punishment is legal in 32 U.S. states. Its application is limited by the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution to aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults. Capital punishment was a penalty for many felonies under English common law, and it was enforced in all of the American colonies prior to the Declaration of Independence. The methods of execution and the crimes subject to the death penalty vary by state and have changed over time. The most common method since 1976 has been lethal injection. Although there are other methods such as: firing squad, gas chamber, electrocution, and hanging. However, I am against the death penalty. I am against it because looking at the death penalty system in action, you realize that the only purpose it serves is retribution or revenge, it is seriously and intrinsically flawed in application and that there is a serious and continuing risk of executing innocent people. And, it costs much more than life in prison. In the last 30 years in the U.S., over 100 people have been released from death row because they were exonerated by DNA evidence. These are all people who were found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Unfortunately, DNA evidence is not available in most cases. So, as long as the death penalty is in place, you are pretty much guaranteed to occasionally execute an innocent person. Also, because of higher pre-trial expenses, longer trials, jury sequestration, extra expenses associated with prosecuting & defending a death penalty case, and the appeals process - which is necessary - it costs taxpayers much more to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life. There’s also an argument to be made that death is too good for the worst criminals. Let them wake up and go to bed every day of their lives in a prison...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document