Capital Punishment Essay

1009 words - 4 pages

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment has been a cause for debate for many years, and people continue to disagree on the topic. A battle rages between Americans who are fighting for a safe and just world, and those who want to abolish the death penalty, weakening our already struggling legal system. Capital punishment may be a controversial subject, but it is one that must be addressed with today's violent society. The death penalty provides the necessary punishment and deterrent for criminals in the United States.
The possibility of executing an innocent man is the main ammunition for anti-death penalty movements. A quote from an article in the Boston Herald written by Don Feder prevents the “bullet” from leaving the gun. “Odds are a killer will be released at some point. And there's a fair chance that he or she will kill again. In fact, there's a far greater likelihood of this then of an innocent man taking that long walk.” (www.bostonherald.com) Also, in America it takes an average of 11.2 years to finally execute a convicted murderer. This is because death-row inmates abuse the United States court system with endless appeals. This is more than enough time to test the original verdict, examine every possible piece of evidence, and prove without reasonable doubt that the convict is indeed guilty as charged. With things the way they are, that leaves a microscopic chance of an innocent man being wrongly executed.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution, aware of the bizarre and torturous methods of execution in the past, added the eighth amendment to the Constitution, which forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” Death, however, was not considered by those framers to be an excessive penalty for serious crimes, as long as the judicial process that gives out the punishment is fair.(ABC News) Many who oppose the death penalty state that it is unconstitutional according to the eighth amendment. As long as no one is tortured, this argument holds no ground at all. The death penalty has been used since the beginning of law, and often for much lesser crimes. It is by no means unusual, and couldn’t be nearly as cruel as the crime for which that person was convicted of.
The American public has consistently favored the use of the death penalty.(ABC News) This is a recent poll by Time Magazine’s web site reflecting the public opinion on capital punishment.
THE FUTURE OF THE DEATH PENALTY
SHOULD THE DEATH PENALTY BE ABOLISHED?
Poll start date: 2/01/2000
Total votes cast: 62170 as of March 11, 2001

The results are definitive. With that many votes cast in this poll, it is a clean-cut decision by the people that the death penalty should be here to stay. Also, the majority of Supreme Court justices continue to uphold the constitutionality of the death penalty and defend its practice. (ABC News) According to an ABC News poll, the court's stance is approved by a majority of Americans; more than three out of four support the death...

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