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Women And The Death Penalty Essay

2443 words - 10 pages

Women and the Death Penalty The bell rings, and all are silent outside the prison walls. The anxious crowd lets out a sigh of relief when they think murder William Kemmler is dead. This is a very important day in the history of capital punishment. William Kemmler is to be the first put to death by means of electrocution. No one has ever been put to death by electrocution, and Kemmler is more than happy to make sure his experimental death goes well. But just the opposite happens. The electricity is turned on, his body convulses, and he is pronounced dead. After turning off the electricity an onlooker notices Kemmlers' chest rising and falling, he is still alive. After turning on the electricity for another four minutes, he is finally dead. Some say capital punishment is inhumane. Who has the right to take another persons life? Who deserves to die? Rapist? Murderers? All criminals? Just men? What are the reasons for someone's life to be taken? Capital punishment is a very controversial topic. Some people have strong feelings on the different methods used. Others believe only certain people should be put on death. Although capital punishment is popular with some, it isn't used everywhere.Capital punishment is the lawful taking of a person's life after conviction for a crime. (Flanders 3) No one knows whether capital punishment is right or wrong. It is a very controversial subject. There are many issues having to deal with this, both politically and ethically. Over hundreds of years of debate, and still no conclusions have been drawn. I can only guess that it will continue to be debated upon for years to come, only because there is always going to be a disagreement on whether it is right or wrong. Many people base their feelings on their religious beliefs. But even the bible has conflicting references to capital punishment. For example, in Leviticus 24:19-20 it says: And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbor; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eyes for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.But then in Matthew 5:38-39 it says: Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eyes, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist no evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.So who is to say what is right or wrong if even the bible contradicts itself? It is no wonder people are so confused if even the bible, the book which so many people's beliefs are based on, has inconsistency with what is says. The United States Supreme Court ruled that cruel and unusual punishment was a violation to the 8th and the 14th amendments to the Constitution. But the Supreme Court left open the possibility that the death penalty might be constitutional- if used for specific reasons, and according to clear standards. (Gall 8-10) Modern use of capital punishment has been used since the early 1920s (Flanders 38) Before the 1900s capital...

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