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Alissa Kilmer Mr. Lenahan 11-12-01 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT Kilmer 1 Capital Punishment is the ruling by a court, sentencing an individual who has been convicted of a serious crime to death. How serious is the death penalty? Well, thirty-eight of the fifty States in the Union have the death penalty enacted in their state (Bright 13). The death penalty is very controversial issues because it is so serious, people ponder the thought of, is it moral or even humane? Some people feel that it let?s the criminal off easy because it doesn?t allow him to live with the guilt of something like murder. Other people like Raymond Forni who is the chairman of the French National Assembly feel that the death penalty is pure ?savagery? (Lacorne 51). Apparently Connecticut agrees with Raymond Forni because they have not executed anyone in 41 years (Margolis 216). As you can see, everyone has his or her own, personal opinion on the ultimate punishment.In 1972 the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty was to be suspended. However, it did not last long, the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 (Federici 109). The Court mandated The 8th and 14th amendments cannot tolerate the infliction of death under legal systems that permit this unique penalty to be so wantonly and freakishly imposed.The court also said The fundamental respect for humanity underlying the 8th amendment? requires consideration of the character and record of the individual offender and the circumstances of the particular offense as a Kilmer 2 constitutionally indispensable part of the process of inflicting the death penalty.The main concern was class that the unemployed were the majority of the population receiving the ultimate sentence of death, fifty percent of the blacks and forty-four percent of the whites that were on death row were unemployed (Johnson, 520-521). The case of Gregg v. Georgia established that the Death Penalty was not unconstitutional (Albers 468).The death penalty was born with the hanging of George Kendall in Jamestown County, Virgina in 1608; its legality was not even brought into question until about two- hundred and fifty years later. In the beginning there were quite a few different methods of carrying out the death penalty. The different ways of executing an individual were, lethal injection, electrocution, poisonous gas, hanging, and being placed in front of a firing squad. Seven hundred and seventy-seven individuals have been killed since the death of Gary Gillmore in 1977. Killing eighty-five inmates ranked us 3rd behind Saudi Arabia and China in 2000 (Trollinger 24). The lethal injection bill was passed in 1977 in Oklahoma. Republican representative William J. Wiseman Jr. was the architect behind getting the necessary support for the bill. This bill made Oklahoma the first governmental body ever to adopt lethal injection as a method of executing capital offenders (Wiseman 6). The last public hanging in the United States took...

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