In the United States 1,099 convicted murderers have been executed since 1976. Another 3,263 are on death row; a shocking 65% of those on death row had a prior felony conviction at the time of the murder. Thirty seven states authorized the death penalty (The Death Penalty in the US). Lethal injection, firing squad, and the electric chair are the preferred methods. The death penalty has been such a controversial topic since it was reinstituted in 1976 (Lethal Injections: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?). The controversy revolves around the 8th Amendment of the Bill of Rights “Unusual and cruel punishment… (U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights)” but is it really cruel? Compared to the guillotine used by the Frenchman. How far are we willing to go to protect murderers and rapists? To ensure they get a “fair and humane” punishment.
Many Americans believe that the death penalty is “unconstitutional”, in fact, a roughly 23% Americans do not support the capital punishment (Who supports the death penalty?). Depending on the degree of the murder, convicted murderers can be sentenced to the death penalty or life without parole. Other crimes might have lesser sentence ranging from 5 years to life; it all boils down to the judge. Release with parole can be given if the felon demonstrates good behavior. A well know case in the State of California pretends to Lily Burk a sophomore student; she was killed by a parolee at seventeen years of age. In 2009 parolee Charlie Samuel, 50 years old was charged with robbery, abduction, and slaying (Parolee to Stand Trial in Lily Burk’s Murder).
The death penalty gives closure to the victim’s families. Countless families can be accounted for watching the convicted murdered put to death. The sense of relief is priceless, and knowing that no one else will suffer by the atrocities committed by the murderer.
Does the death penalty fit the description of unusual and cruel punishments? Let us take a look at our current methods of execution, lethal injection, firing squad, electrocution and gas chamber. Are they really cruel? Compared to hanging, stoning, decapitation or perhaps the infamous “Garrote” method which consisted of a tourniquet around the neck being twisted, as a result it caused a slow painful death. The definition of cruel would be redefined in January, 2007. Channon Christian and Hugh Christopher were victims of a cruel punishment. First off they were carjacked at gun point, they were taken to an apartment where Christopher was beaten and forced to watch his girlfriend being raped by three man. Christopher then was taken to a nearby railroad and was shot in the back, neck and the head “Execution style” and then set on fire. As for the faith of Channon, the torture continued, she was forced to drink caustic chemicals....