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The Death Penalty, A Reason for Recidivism Essay

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The legal definition of the death penalty is a sentence of execution for the crime including murder and some other capital crimes; serious crimes, especially murder, which are punishable by death. The earliest proof of the death penalty dates back to the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon in which 25 crimes were codified. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment, and stated in the eighth amendment would mean it was unconstitutional. The opinion of current methods of execution such as hanging, electrocution, and facing a firing were thought to be painfully slow, some sort of torture. In 1976 the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision they had found a new quick and painless method, death by lethal injection. Since capital punishment has been reinstituted the issue has been discussed in every view. One issue discussed in the criminal justice profession is whether or not the death penalty prevents recidivism. Is the death penalty a more effective deterrent than long term imprisonment, it has been debated for decades by scholars, policy makers and the general public.
Theoretical explanations included the social, political and economical function and how it ties to capital punishment. Socially and more specifically culturally “…the ways in which the practices of state killing and the images, ideas and sensibilities that surround these practices function to shape Americans attitudes towards authority, towards responsibility and towards those social and racial groups from whom capital offenders are most often drawn” (Garland). Some people believe that race and ethnicity have to do with the likelihood of someone receiving the death penalty. According...


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...rnal of Economic Issues. June 2001.
Davis, M. (1997). Punishment as societal-defense (Book Review). Ethics, 107, 532-4. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from Social Sciences Full Text database.
Dieter, Richard C. “Costs of the Death Penalty and Related Issues.” Judiciary Committee Colorado House of Representatives. (February 7, 2007)
Mooney, C., & Schuldt, R. (2008). Does Morality Policy Exist? Testing a Basic Assumption. Policy Studies Journal, 36(2), 199-218. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from Social Sciences Full Text database.
Sorell, T. (2002). Two Ideals and the Death Penalty. Criminal Justice Ethics, 21(2), 27-35. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from Social Sciences Full Text database.
Sorensen, J. R., et. al., An actuarial risk assessment of violence posed by capital murder defendants. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology v. 90 no. 4 (Summer 2000) p. 1251-70.


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