The Death Penalty Is The Most Common Method Of Execution For Criminals

800 Words4 Pages
Imagine sitting in a room. You are strapped tightly to a chair, with an IV jutting out of each of your arms. Your mind is racing, your heart pounding as a saline solution courses through your veins. Your time on Earth is about to end and you prepare yourself for this fate, bracing for the first of three drugs that will end your life. As you turn to look upon your loved ones for a final time, you realize you can’t: the leather straps around your head prevent you from seeing your family members, who stare at you through the small window and wait for you to die. This fate, although fictional for you, is a very real experience for people who die by lethal injection, the most common method of execution for criminals given a death sentence…show more content…
It is further beneficial to establish the definition of “cruel and unusual punishment.” The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy states that cruel and unusual punishment is “torture, deliberately degrading punishment, or punishment that is too severe for the crime committed” (citation). For example, in the Supreme Court case Hope vs. Pelzer, the justices determined it was not lawful for the prisoner to have been handcuffed to a hitching post for 7 hours, mocked, and given no opportunity to use the bathroom (citation). While the death penalty obviously does not institute any of the aforementioned measures, in its own right it still constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, as maintained by Justice Brennan in Furman vs. Georgia: “Death is today an unusually severe punishment, unusual in its pain, in its finality, and in its enormity. No other existing punishment is comparable to death in terms of physical and mental suffering” (citation). In light of the fact that the death penalty violates the Constitutional concepts of the value of human life and cruel and unusual punishment, there are several reasons why one might disagree with this viewpoint. Foremost, not all people view human life as having purpose or meaning. For those who hold to this philosophy, there may be no purported reason
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