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To Kill Or Not To Kill: That Is The Question

2653 words - 11 pages

One of the most controversial topics debated since the dawn of its era is capital punishment aka: the death penalty. Capital punishment is the planned taking of a human life by a government in response to the conviction of a criminal for a capital crime. Criminals who commit heinous acts such as, murder must suffer the consequences of the ultimate punishment; death. Society tends to have passionate opinions on the issue both for and against this method of punishment. This unfortunately causes our nation to be extremely divided resulting in inconsistencies in trial verdicts from state to state. Civil libertarians make accusations of inhumanness, too high of costs and lengths of executions, wrongful conviction and inefficient deterrence. These are valid opposing arguments to bring to the public attention, but each one of these misgivings on the matter is easily refuted. The death penalty most definitely can be a beneficial tool in response to capital crimes in the United States if implemented correctly and consistently in all states not just some. Capital punishment has been in effect for centuries for a variety of crimes ranging from adultery, theft and treason to witchcraft, stealing of slaves and killing of chickens. “The first implication of death penalty laws date as far back as the 1700s B.C. and was established in ancient Babylonia (modern-day Iraq).” (Guernsey 9) Popular ancient methods of executions were burning at the stake, boiling, hanging, crucifixion, impalement, and beheading. The most infamous execution in history ever recorded occurred approximately 29 AD with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ near the city of Jerusalem. Jump forward several centuries and across the world and the death penalty eventually arrives to America. “England had the vastest influence and introduced the death penalty in America with the first recorded execution in the English

American colonies of Captain George Kendall in 1608 who was accused of spying for the Spanish and plotting to betray the British.” (“deathpenaltyinfo.org”) The evolution of capital punishment is constantly changing and laws regarding the death penalty vary from state to state. “The death penalty is currently legal in 32 states and illegal in the remaining 18.” (“cnn.com”) Execution as punishment is most actively utilized in the southern regions of the nation especially Texas. As a born and raised Texan myself, I was brought up thinking the death penalty was just another part of the penal system and honestly didn’t give it much thought beyond that. Researching and informing myself on the facts emerged out of me a true believer of capital punishment. Ways in which capital punishment is administered has also evolved with the times. In more recent history the manner a convicted felon is put to death has unfold to include by firing squad, electrocution, gas chamber, and most popularly lethal injection.
Lethal injection is the most common form of execution in the United States today and is...

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