Capital Punishment : The Death Penalty

975 Words Dec 23rd, 2014 4 Pages
Capital punishment also known as the death penalty refers to the lawful infliction of death as a punishment. The first case of death penalty laws was first established in the Eighteenth Century B.C. Capital punishment is still used in the United States despite the controversy surrounding the law. Death penalty is done by either fastening the criminal to an electric chair, hanging or a firing squad shooting at the criminal.
In Atkins v. Virginia the year 2002, the court decided that a death penalty could not be imposed on any one who is mentally unstable according to the Eighth Amendment. The court held that all individuals with mental retardation are constitutionally exempted from a death penalty based upon a diagnosis. The court concluded that people with mental retardation are less culpable and deterable than other people who commit murder. The court ruled that imposing a death penalty on a mentally retarded person was inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering. In Roper V. Simmons the year 2005, the Supreme Court held that capital punishment for juveniles was a cruel and unusual punishment. The court established that people under the age of 18 don’t have sufficient culpability and deterability to allow execution in line with the Eighth Amendment. The Roper court ruled capital punishment to be an unbalanced punishment for people under the age of 18. The argument was based on the fact that juveniles are more prone to…
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