History of THe Capital Punishment Essay

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The capital punishment, known as the death penalty has been a widely debated topic in America over its constitutionality after being reinstated in 1976. There are two distinct sides in the debate over whether the death penalty is an unjust punishment. The debate spreads over to whether mentally ill and juveniles should be tried as adults and receive the death penalty or if their mental capacity restrains the government from issuing the punishment. Not only that, but the methods used to administer the punishment are also being picked and pried.

The death penalty has been occurring in America since the colonial times when settlers came from Europe. At that time, they used hanging as the most common execution method. This persisted until the
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The court used the public opinion to determine their views on death for raping. Only a few states at that time had allowed death for rapists. The 2008 Kennedy v. Louisiana extened the Coker ruling so that the death penalty could not be issued if the child is still alive after raping. Once again, the court used the public’s opinion in determining this. Only 6 states allowed execution from raping, clearly defining the views against it. In 2002, the court case Ring v. Arizona, the court ruled through the Sixth Amendment that a jury, rather than a judge had the right to issue the capital punishment.The 2006 case of Brown v. Sanders solidified that verdict. The Supreme Court had not taken up an execution method case for 117 years until Baze v. Reese determined that the lethal injection was constitutional. These cases narrowed down who the death penalty was constitutional for. Atkins v. Virginia in 2002, the court determined that executing a mentally retarded human is cruel and unconstitutional. Also, in Bobby v. Bies, states had the authority to conduct tests to determine the mentality of a criminal. To protect the rights of juveniles, the 2005 Roger v. Simmons case stated that it was unconstitutional for the state to administer the death penalty for juveniles because of lack of maturity and responsibility (Cornell Law, Death Penalty).
Methods for administering the death penalty have also fallen under the anger of critics. The two most common methods of execution, lethal
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