The Death Penalty Of The United States

1520 WordsMar 22, 20167 Pages
The use of the death penalty in the United States has always been a controversial topic. The death penalty, also known as Capital Punishment, is a legal process where a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a heinous crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual enforcement is an execution (Bishop 1). Over the years, most of the world has abolished the death penalty. But the United States government, and a majority of its citizens, defend and support its continued use. There is evidence, however, that some attitudes about the death penalty are changing. The first known execution was in the colony of Virginia in 1622, by the 1800s the law in the United States not only accepted capital punishment but also required it (“Facts about the Death Penalty” 3). Execution was the automatic penalty for anyone convicted of murder or several other serious crimes. The debate has shifted from whether capital punishment is appropriate in a modern civilized society to questions about the fairness of the trials and the reliability of the results. These questions have contributed to the rise of citizens who oppose the death penalty (“Facts about the Death Penalty” 3). A divided United States Supreme Court also appears to be struggling with several important aspects of the death penalty. Especially vulnerable members of society like children, the mentally ill, and the mentally retarded who are viewed as undeserving
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