Death Penalty: Cruel And Unusual Punishment?

1522 words - 6 pages

"The death penalty is not one of the 'cruel and unusual punishments' prohibited by the Eight Amendment." (Winters 12). Capital Punishment has been around since the beginning of time as has the controversy surrounding it. There have always been pros and cons to the death penalty as have the arguments that go with it. The crimes that were deserving of the death penalty have changed over the years but some have stayed the same throughout the centuries. Some people have said that by allowing the killing of a criminal, it will only teach others that revenge is what capital punishment is all about, instead of seeing it as a means to removing a danger permanently from society. Hopefully this essay will educate the reader on the importance of capital punishment.This essay will define, describe, analyze and evaluate the ethics of capital punishment. By defining capital punishment the reader will become educated on when it was instituted, and what capital punishment means exactly, in describing capital punishment the reader will become educated on the multiple means in how America deals with its criminals. By analyzing capital punishment, the reader will come to understand that it is ethically acceptable and that it shouldn't be abolished. That, society would suffer if capital punishment was removed from the justice system. Finally, by evaluating capital punishment, the reader will be informed of the writer's opinion on the ethics of capital punishment.According to the encyclopedia Britannica, capital punishment, " is the penalty of death, pronounced by a competent court." (Encyclopedia Britannica 809). This means for a criminal to be sentenced to death, the court must be fair in all mannerisms towards thecriminal and in the sentencing. "In 1608 the first recorded execution in the new coloniesoccurred in the Jamestown colony of Virginia. Captain George Kendall [who was accused of being a spy]...In 1632 Jane Champion...became the first woman to be put to death [for the killings of her master's children]." (Rein 1). This shows that people back then were determined to have a safe environment to live in. Since the beginning of the use of capital punishment there have been many various forms of execution that was used. The forms that have remained though are; hanging, firing squad, lethal injection, gas chamber and electrocution. Some argue that these forms of execution violate the eightth amendment, but do they really? If one looks at in the way the victim of the killer died then compared to that, lethal injection sounds fairly kind. Not all states endorse the methods of capital punishment and not all states support it.In analyzing capital punishment, a person must look at it from all angles. People need to be aware that it is not used as a means of "revenge", but as a permanent removal of a dangerous criminal from society. It has been noted that for the victims family, knowing that the killer of their daughter/son has proven to a form of closure for them. It...

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