Capital Punishment Essay

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Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is the most severe sentence imposed in the United States and is legal in thirty-eight states. The death penalty is a controversial subject, especially because the U.S. is the only western democracy to retain this consequence (Scheb, 518). I personally believe that the death penalty is a valid sentence for those who deserve it. Some believe it is not constitutional, but those who face this penalty are clearly suspect of a savage offense and therefore should be at a loss of certain rights. The arguments don’t end there once one considers that “the controversy over capital punishment becomes more heated when special circumstances arise” (Sternberg, 2). This issue brings up more arguments against the
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“The phrase ‘eye for an eye’ is usually considered synonymous with justice … [but] now some say two states have gone a step beyond that standard and violated the U.S. Constitution by making some rapes punishable by death” (Higgins, 30). While most of those who support the death penalty do so because of their “eye for an eye” view on this subject, some supporters take on a neutral stance when it comes to killing a rapist or other offender. Higgins mentions Louisiana and Georgia as the states that have gone too far by passing statues that allow “capital-rape” laws (30). I do not know what outlook I hold on this topic; rape is certainly a serious crime, but since it is such a traumatic experience for the victim that I would not necessarily be against it, but impartial. The true test of law is when it is appealed to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court. “If the Supreme Court upholds the death penalty for child rapists, more states may follow,” Higgins states, “If the Court strikes down the law, the ruling could cast doubt on other statues that allow the death penalty for non-killings” (30). I believe that the States, more so than its constituents, tend to follow in line with the Court’s rulings because of how carefully each case is scrutinized under the supreme eye of the law. Once enough states follow in line with one another it

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