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Capital Punishment Arguments

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Essay title: Capital Punishment Arguments

Capital punishment is the most severe sentence imposed in the United States and is legal in thirty-eight states. The death penalty is a controversial subject, especially because the U.S. is the only western democracy to retain this consequence (Scheb, 518). I personally believe that the death penalty is a valid sentence for those who deserve it. Some believe it is not constitutional, but those who face this penalty are clearly suspect of a savage offense and therefore should be at a loss of certain rights. The arguments don't end there once one considers that "the controversy over capital punishment becomes more heated when special circumstances arise" (Sternberg, 2). This issue brings up more arguments against the death penalty because of the constitutionally protected ban on cruel and unusual punishment which is protected by the Eighth Amendment. There have been nearly 15,000 executions that have taken place in America, the first in 1608 with the death of Captain George Kendall (Siegel, 410). Most of these were sentenced to death because of their own action of killing others. However, more and more crimes are now able to be punishable by death. This is the result of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which "dramatically increased the number of federal crimes eligible for this sentence" (Scheb, 520). Even so, the federal government has yet to put someone on death row for a non-homicidal case. The arguments for and against capital punishment are lengthy and strictly opinionated, but are also important to see the evolution of our society as the

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