Capital Punishment Should Not Be Legal Essay

1746 Words Apr 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Even though capital punishment was not widely accepted by United States citizens in 1968, by the 1990s, 75-80 percent of all Americans supported capital punishment. In more recent years, capital punishment has been supported by many politicians and judges. In 1972, Furman v. Georgia found that capital punishment was in violation of the 8th amendment, so it was unconstitutional for juries to be allowed to decide whether or not someone received the penalty of capital punishment in an arbitrary and discriminatory way. The decision made by this court case did not make capital punishment illegal, but it tried to limit the amount of executions. After the Gregg v. Georgia decision in 1976, around 600 people have been executed as a result of capital punishment being legal. Ever since the Gregg decision, there was an increase in the number of executions. The chart below illustrates the number of executions by year from 1977 to 2013. The graph does not show the number of individuals who are merely on death row, which is significantly higher and has increased since 1976 as well.
Currently, the death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states (and DC). Many Americans, especially politicians, are concerned with reducing and preventing crime in whatever means possible, especially in recent years. This can be seen through different laws that have been set in place that give significantly harsh punishments and speed up judicial processes. Even though capital punishment can be…

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