Death Penalty And Morality Essay

2260 words - 9 pages

DEATH PENALT AND MORALITYCapital Punishment is the legal infliction of thedeath penalty. In the United States capitalpunishment is legal in thirty-nine of the fiftystates. Beginning in 1973, prison populations beganan inevitable growth. There were 204,211 inmates in1973, and by 1977 the number of prisoners had grown to285,456, which later grew to 315,974 in 1980. By1976, it was clear that the death penalty had to bereinstated. America's twenty-one year experiment withcapital punishment has resulted in a total of 392executions, seventy eight of which took place in 1996alone. Of these only thirty-four were federal cases,out of which thirty two were male and only two werefemale.Every year about 15,000 killers are charged and onlyabout 300 wind up on death row. The death rowpopulation is constantly increasing. It is now morethan 3,000. Because of constant appeals, it takes aperson on death row typically between five to eightyears to finally get executed. To kill all theprisoners on death row, it is estimated that it wouldtake two executions a day for seven years.Crimes such as aiding in suicide, causing a boatcollision resulting in death, forced marriage,procuring an abortion resulting in the death of themother, espionage, castrating another, rape, homicide,child molesting resulting in death and conspiracy tokidnap for ransom among many others are, in somestates, crimes that are punishable by death. What thelaw permits, however, is not always used by the courtsor the executive authorities. Most executions are aresult of a murder or rape, and a small number forrobbery, kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault andespionage.In the US, the death penalty is currently authorizedin one of five ways: hanging, which has been thetraditional method of execution throughout theEnglish-speaking world; electrocution, which wasintroduced by New York State in 1890; the gas chamberwhich was first adopted by Nevada in 1923; the firingsquad which is used only in Utah and Idaho, and lethalinjection which was introduced in 1977 by Oklahoma andis the most common form of execution in the US.Capital punishment is legal in Washington State,Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota,Nebraska, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico,Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi,Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana,Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, New Hampshire, New York,Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, WestVirginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, NewJersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington DC. Out ofthese, lethal injection is legal in thirty two states,electrocution in ten states, the gas chamber in fivestates, hanging in three states and the firing squadin two states. Some states use more than one method.Out of the thirty nine states where the death penaltyis legal, twelve have had no executions. Texas is thestate with the most executions with a total of 127.Florida and Virginia follow with a huge difference,only thirty nine executions...

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