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Capital Punishment

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Essay title: Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment is a debate that has been argued for a very long time. Since the beginning of human interaction crimes have been committed. There are several different levels in which crimes take place. For instance, some crimes are considered minor and require very little punishment. This level of crime is called a misdemeanor. An example of a misdemeanor would be a speeding ticket. The next level of crime is called a felony. Felonies are considered to be crimes like criminal domestic violence and even murder. For every crime that can be committed, there is a punishment that is given. These punishments can run from being fined, serving time in jail or prison and all the way up to capital punishment. Capital punishment is defined as the act of putting someone to death for the punishment of a crime known as the death penalty. Capital punishment got its name during the period of time that people were put to death by severing their head from the rest of their body. The word capital in capital punishment is derived from the Latin term caput, which means head (Catholic Encyclopedia). There are many crimes that a person can commit and get sentenced with the death penalty. The crime that is done in which death is the sentence most commonly is murder. The other crimes include: treason, capital sexual battery, capital drug trafficking, kidnapping and the victim dies, aircraft hijacking, and even rape. However, the requirements in order to get the death penalty do vary from state to state simply because they take different stances on the issue.

Capital punishment is an issue that has been controversial since the beginning of its existence. Many organizations have worked hard to abolish the death penalty. Some states have recognized these organization's views and have done away with the capital punishment all together. Of the fifty states there are a total of 12 states that have totally abolished the death penalty. These 12 states include Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Main, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin (DPIC). While capital punishment has its pros and cons it basically comes down to morals. For instance, religion plays a major role in taking a stance on the death penalty. Another way that states have responded to different views of the death penalty is by changing the way they carry out the execution. In early history, there were several ways in which a person could receive the death penalty. The most common method that was practiced in earlier history was death by hanging. This method was very brutal and painful and quickly diminished as time progressed.

In earlier years, it was very easy to be sentenced with the death penalty when committing a crime. Cesar Baccaria came up with the theory that they death penalty wasn’t the best way to prosecute criminals. This was where the various other types of correction and punishment came from. The United States is one of very few industrialized countries that continue to execute criminals. Also, it is one of very few countries that execute mentally ill persons and child murderers. Child murderers are people who committed the crime before they were of age eighteen.

There are several reasons why people believe that the death penalty should remain in effect. The first and most important reason is based on the issue that the Bible requires the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes. Some examples of these crimes would be sex before marriage, adultery, homosexuality, doing work on Saturday and murder. Another point that people make on continuing the death penalty is that justice will be served. This gives a sense of satisfaction for the friends and family of the victim. “They feel that certain crimes are so heinous that executing the criminal is the only reasonable response.” (Religious tolerance). Deterrence also plays a role in agreeing to keep capital punishment in effect. Many people feel that the death penalty will set an example to others and keep them from killing. Cost is perhaps what keeps congress from the death penalty. For instance, it costs 25,000 dollars a year to keep someone in prison(Piehl). Therefore, if the person is executed then the citizens’ tax dollars no longer has to go to keeping that person in prison. For instance, in 2004 there were 125 people that were executed in the United States. That would be 5,375,000 dollars spent on those criminals each year. And foremost, once the convicted criminal is executed there is no longer a chance that they can breakout of prison and possible commit another crime (Religious tolerance).

On the contrary, there are many reasons why people are against capital punishment. One major reason is that many feel that the government is playing God. They feel that the convicted criminal’s life is being taken

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