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Capital Punishment: Cruel And Unusual? Essay

1616 words - 6 pages

My essay is argumentative on whether or not the death penalty is crule and unusual punishment or necessary means of punishment. Specific laws are quoted for the State of Washington. Other points brought up are: the wrongfully convicted and sentenced, procedure once found guilty, and other statistical information nationwide regarding means of execution and death toll.In 2002, 71 inmates were executed in various states with in the U.S. 70 of the executions were carried out by lethal injection, only one by electrocution. The state that is notorious for carrying out the death penalty is Texas. Holding the highest record for executions in 2002 with a total of 33. However, it is up to each individual state to determine whether or not the convicted person is eligible for the death penalty because of their crime(s) committed. The moral, useful, and practical issue of capital punishment has been an ongoing battle between government and society in determining if it is cruel and unusual punishment or retribution in justifying a person's crime.Since 1904, 77 people have been executed in Washington State. The State carries out the death penalty by the means of lethal injection, unless the defendant chooses hanging. The following information is the definition given by the Washington State Department of Corrections of "aggravated first degree murder" charge in which a person, if found guilty and convicted, will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or death:(Please note this information is not counted in final word or page count.)RCW 10.95.020Definition.*** CHANGE IN 2003 *** (SEE 5758.SL) ***A person is guilty of aggravated first degree murder if he or she commits first degree murder as defined by RCW 9A.32.030(1)(a), as now or hereafter amended, and one or more of the following aggravating circumstances exist:(1) The victim was a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, or fire fighter who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the act resulting in death and the victim was known or reasonably should have been known by the person to be such at the time of the killing;(2) At the time of the act resulting in the death, the person was serving a term of imprisonment, had escaped, or was on authorized or unauthorized leave in or from a state facility or program for the incarceration or treatment of persons adjudicated guilty of crimes;(3) At the time of the act resulting in death, the person was in custody in a county or county-city jail as a consequence of having been adjudicated guilty of a felony;(4) The person committed the murder pursuant to an agreement that he or she would receive money or any other thing of value for committing the murder;(5) The person solicited another person to commit the murder and had paid or had agreed to pay money or any other thing of value for committing the murder;(6) The person committed the murder to obtain or maintain his or her membership or to advance his or her position in...

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