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Capital Punishment in Usa

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Megan Michaux

Capital Punishment

As part of a democracy, Americans accept the rights of the county, state and

individual. Social order can only exist when people give up the responsibilities of law

enforcement to the government. All fifty states have the right to choose whether or not to

utilize capital punishment. It is legal in thirty-seven of those states. (www) I believe

capital punishment does not violate the Eighth Amendment because it serves as both a

deterrent and retributive purpose. Moral justice can be served through the execution of

the convicted and there are humane ways in which the government can execute.

When the Constitution was drafted, capital punishment was practiced widely in

this country, yet it was not specified as wrong or as cruel and unusual. Many of the

framers and philosophers of the Constitution supported capital punishment. ( Locke)

Citizens under a social contract agree not to kill only because others also agree not to kill.

When that bond of trust is broken, the law must take action to maintain balance within

the economy. I think that it is the function of laws to prevent murder by demonstrating to

everyone that it is not in their best interest to take another person's life.

Capital punishment is the harshest form of punishment enforced in the United

States today. Once a jury has convicted a criminal, they agree on a punishment. If the

jury recommends capital punishment and the judge agrees, the criminal will then face

some form of execution, a punishment that once performed cannot be reversed. Each year

there are about 250 people added to Death Row and 35 executed. (www) However, I

believe the fear of death discourages people from committing crimes and there must be

fear and intimidation. to achieve model citizens and a better society

Perhaps one of the biggest objections to capital punishment is the immorality of

consenting to kill another human being. Opponents believe that capital punishment is the

permissible legal killing of people and no one, not even the State, has the authority to

play God. Who decides that the convicted life is less important than the lives of other

civilians? Capital punishment can be viewed morally wrong because of its cruel and

inhumane taking of a human life. In fact there was a period from 1972 to 1976 that

capital punishment was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Their reason for

this decision was that it violated the Eighth Amendment and was seen as cruel and

unusual punishment. (www) The different methods of execution can actually involve

physical torture. There have been cases where electrocution has not successfully killed

the condemned on the first application and the convicted has had to suffer extreme burns

and torment, as they are shocked a second time. (Block) Capital punishment is a

retributive justice, and no direct relation to murder rates can be logically applied.

In opposition to the objections of capital punishment, I must clearly state that in

the case of murder, a crime that receives execution in most cases, the damage cannot be

reversed. The life of the victim no longer exists and nothing can be done to retrieve it.

The lesson that the criminal is taught, in turn, should be one that cannot be reversed.

Capital punishment teaches a lesson while the convicted criminal awaits the sentence to

be carried out. To consider capital punishment as inhuman and immoral would be saying

that capital punishment is itself the injustice. Is it not an



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