Should Capital Punishment Still be Used in the American System Essay

Should Capital Punishment Still be Used in the American System Essay

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Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, “is the pre-meditated and planned taking of a human life by a government in response to a crime committed by that legally convicted person” (usliberals.about.com). “Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers.” Capital punishment can also be “applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes” (ProCon.org "Death Penalty ProCon.org"). The death penalty is done “primarily by means of lethal injection” (ProCon.org "Death Penalty ProCon.org").
Many people are arguing whether or not capital punishment is effective and should still be used in the American system. Proponents of the death penalty argue that the death penalty deters crime. In contrast, opponents of the death penalty argue that the death penalty is cruel and goes against the “cruel and punishment” clause in the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. This is an ongoing debate because the government has the power to take someone’s life.
For most of history, the Supreme Court assumed that capital punishment was constitutionally allowed. The Fifth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment affirmed that a life could be taken as long as the criminal is provided “due process of law.” In 1962, the “cruel and unusual clause” of the Eighth Amendment was enforced to the states in Robinson v. California. After the ruling, criminals gained confidence in challenging the judicial system. By the 1960s, the Supreme Court slowly began to analyze procedural controversies linked to the death penalty. Although, countless cases presented disputes to the constitutionality of the death penalty, the Court usually averted ruling directly on that topic. “In McGautha v. California (1971), the Court finally addressed the constitutionality of t...


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ProCon.org. "Death Penalty ProCon.org" ProCon.org. 12 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. .
ProCon.org. "Top 10 Pros and Cons" ProCon.org. 13 Apr. 2009. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. .
"Pros & Cons of The Death Penalty." The Death Penalty Pros and Cons. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2014.

White, Deborah. "Pros & Cons of the Death Penalty." About.com US Liberal Politics. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. http://usliberals.about.com/od/deathpenalty/i/DeathPenalty_2.htm
"5 Arguments For And Against The Death Penalty." Listverse. N.p., 1 June 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. http://listverse.com/2013/06/01/5-arguments-for-and-against-the-death-penalty/

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