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Capital Punishment Should Be Banned in Usa

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The topic I chose for my research paper is Capital punishment. I chose this topic because I think Capital punishment should be banned in all states. The death penalty violates religious beliefs about killing, remains unfair to minorities and is therefore unconstitutional, and is inhumane and barbaric. The death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments (Bedau 2). Those who had shown no respect for life would be restrained, permanently if necessary, so they could not further endanger other members of the community (Cauthen 2). But the purpose of confinement would not be vengeance or punishment (Cauthen 2). Rather an ideal community would show no mercy even to those who had shown no mercy (Cauthen 2). It would return good for evil. The aim of isolation is reconciliation and not revenge. Although the founders of the new country were generally in favor of the death penalty for certain crimes, many Americans in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth century were highly vocal opponents, known as abolitionists (Stewart 12). The best known of the American abolitionists was Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of The Declaration of Independence and a confidant of Benjamin Franklin (Stewart 12). Like many other Americans at the time, Rush equated the death penalty with a cruel monarchy specifically that of England's George and believed that the new republic should have nothing to do with executions (Stewart 12). Rush wrote a number of pamphlets and books arguing that the very idea of a death penalty contradicted the notion of humanity and divine love (Stewart 12). "Who are we to destroy what god has made". It is far better to reform a criminal than to destroy him. It is shown that Capital punishment leads many citizens suffering before they are officially dead. When Mississippi executed Jimmy Lee Gray in the gas chamber in 1983, his head was not immobilized (Stewart 30). As the poison gas began suffocating Gray, eyewitnesses and media representatives reporting Gray "suffering a torturous death, his head flailing about wildly, smashing the medal pipe (behind his chair used for support) many times before he lost consciousness" (Stewart 30). The electric chair and hanging too, sometimes fail to be quick, and there have been glitches in lethal injections- executioners have sometimes had difficulty finding usable veins into which to inject the poison, and some victims have suffered breathing



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