Capital Punishment Essay

1457 WordsNov 6, 20096 Pages
Avalos 1 Nataly Avalos Dr. Blunt English 111 25 November 2008 Should the use of capital punishment be abolished? What is capital punishment? The term capital punishment, also known as death penalty is “the execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense” (“Capital Punishment”). Since colonial times, approximately 13,000 people were legally executed in the U.S. However, the execution rate decreased tremendously by 1967 due to the lack of public support. Consequently, capital punishment was banned in 1972. Still, four years later, the U.S. Supreme Court reauthorized the practice and allowed the States to decide whether or not the death penalty should be legal. The states which have abolished executions are usually northern: Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The states which do have capital punishment are: Connecticut, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota. However, no executions have been performed since 1976 (B.A. Robinson). Overall, capital punishment has become a major controversial issue due to its morality and impact on criminal behavior. Today, arguments for and against capital punishment are based on deterrence, morality, fairness, and racism. In America, deterrence of future crimes has become one of the most debatable arguments due to the increased number of crimes over the years. Supporters of death penalty suggest that putting dangerous criminals on death row will significantly decrease the number of crimes. Avalos 2 According to a leading study, in which data from 3,054 U.S. counties was used between 1977 and 1996, the murder rate significantly decreased by both death sentences and executions. The most surprising

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