The Problem of Capital Punishment Essay

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The Problem of Capital Punishment

The issue of capital punishment is a divisive topic that encompasses many moral and empirical aspects of human justice. Ultimately, the key issue regarding the death penalty is as follows: is the death penalty an appropriate form of punishment for the United States of America’s judicial system to impose? This key issue incorporates the empirical and moral claims of the opponents both for and against capital punishment in America. The main empirical issues center on whether or not the death penalty is imposed with bias, whether it serves as deterrence for future crimes, and whether it is an economically beneficial option for the country. Moral concerns include the idea of justice as being “an eye
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In the early twentieth century, during the Progressive Movement, there was a general advance towards abolishment. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, social scientists felt that capital punishment was needed to move toward a moral society, and as a result, executions rose during these times. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, with the decline of support for the death penalty came a decrease in executions. This was due mainly in part to the public’s questioning of the validity and fairness of the death penalty. Consequently, in the 1972 Supreme Court case, Furman v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decided—with a 5-4 vote and 9 separate opinions—that the death penalty was capriciously and arbitrarily handed down. Historically, the entire nation’s view on the death penalty has been disjointed, with the federal government allowing state governments to make laws. For a real decision to be made, the federal government has to be more involved, and make a clear concise decision on the matter. Recently, more issues have emerged in regards to the death penalty, such as cost; other issues like deterrence and prejudice have been around for the entirety of our nation’s existence (

There have been disagreements on whether or not the death penalty is objective. Death penalty supporters may indicate that, as of February 17, 2004, 57.2% of executed were white, and the

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