The Death Penalty in America Essay

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The Death Penalty in America

The law of God is, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" (Bible 79 ), and every system of ethics and rules of our society echoes that law. For decades, state and federal leaders have struggled with opposing views of the death penalty. Many minds have endured this difficult question-Who says it is right to take another human's life because of an act that he/she committed?

The death penalty is the most severe sentence that can be administered to a criminal (Capital Punishment 1). There are only fourteen states in the United States that prohibit capital punishment, Iowa being among them (Death Penalty 1).

In the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, it is stated that cruel and
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Fewer and fewer American judges are turning towards the punishment of death in court cases. Many moral and ethical standards require justices to think extensively about their judgments before acting on them. The thought of sending a person to die is a very gruesome one to face, no matter how strong someone may be. As Michael Endres stated, "The execution of an offender is the most certain way to incapacitate him...the death penalty is not, of course, the only way to achieve this end" (Endres 19). Equally effective methods of punishment are more often used now. Some prisoners actually favor dying rather than being forced into confinement for life.

Each year there are about two hundred and fifty people added to death row, while thirty-five are actually executed. Since capital punishment was resumed in 1976, there have been three hundred and ninety-one executions ("Cruel and Unusual" 27). If the judge recommends the death penalty and the judge agrees, the criminal will face some form of execution. Lethal injection is the most common form. From 1972-1976, capital punishment was ruled unconstitutional (Capital Punishment 2). The Supreme Court's reason for abolishment was the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment. They reversed their decision when new methods of execution were introduced.

Even though I have strong opinions against the death penalty, there are many Americans who support it. Some people

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