Death Penalty In The United States



The death penalty is a controversial topic in the United States
today and has been for a number of years. The death penalty is currently
legal in 38 states and two federal jurisdictions (Winters 97). The death
penalty statutes were overturned and then reinstated in the United States
during the 1970's due to questions concerning its fairness (Flanders 50).
The death penalty began to be reinstated slowly, but the rate of executions
has increased during the 1990's (Winters 103-107). There are a number of
arguments in favor of the death penalty. Many death penalty proponents feel
that the death penalty reduces crime because it deters people from
committing murder if they know that they will ...

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person being put to death, and
because it can be unfairly applied.
Death penalty opponents feel that the death penalty must be
abolished because it cheapens the value of human life. The death penalty
desensitizes people to murder and violence because, by executing people,
the state sends the message that violence is an acceptable means of
resolving conflicts. The death penalty also reduces the gravity of the loss
of human life by making it legal for the state to kill people it deems to
be beyond reform (Winters 57). Death penalty opponents defend their claims
that the death penalty actually causes an increase in crime citing
statistics such as that in California, between 1952 and 1967 there were an
average of 6 executions per year. From 1968 until 1991, there were no
executions. In the period from 1952 to 1967 the murder rate was double that
of the murder rate in the years from 1968 to 1991. Also the average murder
rate in states with the death penalty is 8%, whereas in ...

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these statistics lend credence to the argument that the
death penalty does not cause a decrease in homicides and in some instances
may even lead to an increase in murders.
Death penalty statutes currently in place in the United States are
also said to violate contemporary standards of decency and various
international treaties, because they allow the execution of the mentally
disabled and minors. According to the National Bar Association, the current
laws that allow the mentally retarded to be put to death violate
contemporary standards of decency ("U.S."). The National Coalition Against
the Death Penalty states that people with mental disabilities often may be
unaware of what they are ...

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Death Penalty In The United States. (2006, May 1). Retrieved October 21, 2017, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Death-Penalty-In-The-United-States/45261
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/1/2006 03:52:26 PM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2700
Pages: 10

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