The Debate Over Death Penalty

1618 Words7 Pages
Parker Coss
Professor Reiner
Writing 39C
Debates over Death Penalty in the United States The issue of death penalty today is a popular topic for numerous public and scholarly discussions. The death penalty has a long and distinguished history in the United States, as it has been around in some form—either official or otherwise—since the beginning of American society. America originally adopted the British justice system, with hundreds of crimes being punishable by death. Slowly but surely, states began to eliminate the number of things that could lead to the death penalty. Likewise, new methods were introduced, with the electric chair coming about around the turn of the 1900s. The modern death penalty system came after the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia. Today, the death penalty is only available for murder, only available for people over 18, and not available for people who are mentally retarded. While the differences in punishment between death penalty states and non-death penalty states is severe, the difference in outcomes is not as severe. While one would expect death penalty states to have lower murder rates because of the fear of the death penalty, the opposite ends up being true. In death penalty states, the murder rate has been significantly higher in every year since 1990. States without the death penalty also feature lower general crime rates. States with no death penalty also tend to spend less money on

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