The Controversial Nature Of The Death Penalty

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Defining the Death Penalty Throughout history the laws and regulations surrounding the death penalty have fluctuated and changed, making the death penalty an unlikely punishment for severe crimes. In 1793, one of the first laws regarding the death penalty was passed, when murder was divided into first and second degrees (H. Bedeau, 2004), this only allowed the death penalty to be a plausible option for first degree or premeditated murder. However, today, this is no longer a “sufficient basis” for the death penalty. The perpetrator must also exhibit “aggravating circumstances” which are generally specified by the judge 's instructions to the jury (H. Bedeau, 2004). Supreme Court cases have also limited the death penalties reach. In 1976, Woodson …show more content…
The biggest decisions surrounding the question of if the death penalty falls under cruel and unusual punishment. Today, a death sentence can be executed in numerous ways, including lethal injection, electric chair, gas chamber, and firing squad. However, these methods are constantly being revised and revisited to make the method of death more humane and less painful. (DPIC, 2015). The death penalty cannot be taken lightly and is one of the most morally complex issues discussed today when it comes to the justice system. In order to fully understand the nature of this penalty, it is crucial to look at both sides of the argument before formulating an …show more content…
First of all, while I feel that in some cases the death penalty is the only way to effectively stop someone from continuing to harm others, the flexibility and subjective nature of the death penalty makes it unfair and unjust. Many executions are delayed in hopes of confirming the mental status of the convict and reexamining the evidence. However, in many cases it appears that the extreme delaying of executions violate the Constitution (H. Bedeau, 2004) due to the fact that they lack purpose. I also believe that in order for the death penalty to be justified, it needs to only be allowed for people above the age of 18, and those who are not highly mentally incompetent. To punish children and the mentally ill, as harshly as one who is wholly competent and cognitively developed, is unfair, especially when the results are irreversible. Additionally, I think that the death penalty should only be used if there is positive DNA evidence to convict the person of the crime. In my opinion eyewitness testimonies or confessions are not enough because they can be easily falsified or forced. The only truly accurate way in my opinion to best eliminate false rulings is to only subject those who were convicted largely due to DNA evidence found on the

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