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Capital Punishment In The U.S. Essay

2409 words - 10 pages

This essay is about Capital Punishment and why it should be abolished and why it is brutal and barbaricReport - Capital Punishment in the U.S.At one time in the United States, when there was widespread community participation in executions, people closed their stores and schools, and watched a condemned person being paraded to the gallows. Concession booths were set up, and often politicians took advantage of the mass of people and got a little bit of campaigning.(NAR, p.7)About 20,000 people showed up for the last public execution in the U.S. - a hanging in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1936. By that time, executions had moved behind prison walls, into little rooms with no windows, where the death of the person was observed by only a few selected 'witnesses.'(ECE)Although Canada got rid of capital punishment in 1976, it is alive and well in the U.S. In fact, thirty-eight people were executed in 1993 in ten states, more than in any year since 1962. In 1992, 31 prisoners were put to death. For example, the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, executed by lethal injection in May 1994 in Illinois. He was the 12th killed that year. Time is running out for the 2,700 convicts on death row -- a number that keeps getting bigger almost daily.(ECE)Americans are revolted because they have so much violent crime. They are desperate to do something about it, and, so the killing of murderers continues despite evidence that it does not deter crime.(EVA, p.90). Although U.S. legislators in the U.S. strongly support capital punishment, they are trying to make it more efficient, more humane and more acceptable to the public.(ECE). Neither supporters, nor abolitionists consider the pain experienced in those windowless rooms. I think it's time they did.Acceptable or not, Americans cannot ignore what actually goes on in those chairs, and stretchers and gallows of the thirty-six states that use capital punishment. A priest named Rev. Joseph B. Ingle who has seen about twenty-four executions, says that the U.S. public must know exactly what happens in an execution. 'Once people understand... [the brutality of executions] ...they're horrified.'(ECE)The issue of pain is no small matter. More than a century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled under the Eighth Amendment of getting rid of 'cruel and unusual punishments,' and that the death penalty must result in 'the mere extinguishment of life,' and that torture or 'a lingering death' would be unconstitutional.(ECE)But can the death penalty, at the very same time, meet society's rising standard for an efficient, acceptable, humane death? Is a quick and painless execution even possible?Consider that on May 5, 1990, in Florida, 2,100 volts were slammed into Jessie Joseph Tafero who was 43 years old. (He had killed two cops, including Corporal Donald Irwin of Kitchener, Ont.) Witnesses had reported that 'fire and smoke shot out from the headpiece attached to his skull ... He nodded and gurgled for four minutes as his eyebrows burned and...

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