Capital Punishment : The Death Penalty Essay

1239 Words Jul 31st, 2016 5 Pages
Capital Punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the sentence of death for serious crimes, especially murder. Capital punishment continues to be used in the United States in spite of debate over its merits and over its effectiveness as prevention to serious crimes. Since 2003, 38 states used capital punishment as a sentence; 12 states—Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia did not. In the case of Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), Furman was burglarizing a private home when a family member discovered him. He tried to flee, but tripped and fell. The gun that he was carrying discharged and killed a resident in the home. Furman was convicted of murder and sentenced to death (Two other death penalty cases were decided along with Furman: Jackson v. Georgia and Branch v. Texas. These cases affected the constitutionality of the death sentence for rape and murder convictions, individually). The Court held that the imposition of the death penalty in these cases represented cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Constitution. The Court 's decision compelled states and the national legislature to reconsider their statutes for capital offenses to ensure that the death penalty would not be administered in an impulsive or prejudiced manner. Due to the previous cases, the death penalty had been illegal for a few years, but in the case…

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