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Capitol Punishment Essay

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Below is an essay on "Capitol Punishment" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Capitol Punishment
Capital punishment has long been a controversial issue in public policy. When discussing the death penalty, the question of ethics always takes center stage. Opponents of this practice believe that the death penalty is an inhumane practice that seeks revenge as opposed to justice. Additionally, evidence has come to show that the death penalty has been overwhelmingly used on minorities and low social classes. The claims of discrimination within the capital punishment system have been validated by historic Supreme Court cases. Despite the discrimination of the death penalty, the punishment should not be abolished. There are certain crimes that warrant such a punishment, particularly those in which the offender shows no remorse or possibility for rehabilitation. The capital punishment process should be amended in order to rid itself of the racism and prejudice that fuels the machine.
European settlers were the first to bring the practice of capital punishment to the new world, America. The first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608. Throughout the Colonial Times the death penalty was in place but varied in the crime and form of execution depending on the colony. During the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century America created its judicial system. The most common forms of capital punishment during these times were the electric chair, hanging, and cyanide gas. By 1967 two sociologists estimated that approximately sixteen thousand people had been executed by hanging in America. The choice to use hanging as a form of execution was the most popular because it was very inexpensive. All you needed was a span of rope and a sturdy base. The concern was that this type of execution was or could be very painful. Some people were decapitated, and it could take as long as twenty minutes for a person to strangle to death. Late in the nineteenth century, the “long drop” method was...

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