Death Penalty Essay: Capital Punishment In The United States

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Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime. There are vast differences in the way many Americans view the death penalty. Some believe strongly in capital punishment and some Americans oppose capital punishment. As of today, 31 states in the United States have and enforce the death penalty, as well as the United States Military. Nineteen states do not have or enforce the death penalty. Is the death penalty fair? Is it humane? Does it deter crime? Death penalty supporters argue that ending a criminal’s life will guarantee that they will never commit heinous crimes again. Supporters also make a valid point stating that the death penalty costs the government and taxpayers …show more content…
Almost all nations in the world and a majority of the states in the United States have made capital punishment legal and have enforced it in many ways. The death penalty was used in most cases to punish those who broke the laws or standards that were expected of them. The first established death penalty laws date as far back as eighteenth century BC, however executions have drastically changed since then. Punishment back then would be considered ‘cruel and unusual’ today. This explains why the ways of executing someone have changed. Examples of capital punishment back then included being buried alive, boiling in oil, being crushed under the feet of elephants, being starved to death, and even being beheaded. Today the most popular ways of execution include getting a lethal injection or being electrocuted. Other methods include being put in a gas chamber, being hanged, and being shot down by a firing squad. However, these methods of execution are only allowed in very few states. There is also controversy when it comes to deciding if the death penalty violates a citizen’s Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment states that, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” It has been decided that the death penalty does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual

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