As Americans we live in a modern republic under a government constructed to secure the rights of the people. Today’s government and judicial systems were forged by our founding fathers as they fought to establish a government free from tyranny and brutality and thereby forming a constitution based on civil liberties. Our country has grown and matured through the centuries and in effect has made changes and alterations as innovations and advancements have deemed necessary. One area where we seem to have evolved at a slower rate is in the archaic and often inhumane judicial laws of the death penalty. The death penalty, a law which strips the civil liberties and violates the human rights of the accused offender, needs to be abolished. If as a nation we are to uphold our integrity it is imperative that the United States embrace the worldwide movement toward the complete abolition of the inhumane act of capital punishment.
Intense controversy over the legality of the death penalty in the United States has always been multi-faceted and emotionally charged. Constitutional lawyers insist the founding fathers made provision for the death penalty in the 5th amendment which guarantees “due process of law before a person can be deprived of life, liberty or property”, while ignoring the 8th amendment which bars cruel and unusual punishments (Singh, 2003). There is no constitutional amendment that gives state or federal governments the authority to proclaim death as a penalty. This is an assumption based on the methods of punishment used in the era of the first colonies. The archaic “eye for an eye”, “Annie get your gun” justice has regressed into a self-justifying realm of indecision where it is easier c...
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...nd tolerance, equality and human rights are encouraged by leaders, we still hold fast to an archaic and unthinkable law, the death penalty. We need to hear the truth in the words of the framers of the constitution, the voice of the world and the cry of those who are appalled by the violation of human rights. The people of this free nation need, with one voice, to call for the abolition of the death penalty.
American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation, 2012, Retrieved March 9, 2012,
Amnesty International, 2012, Retrieved March 9, 2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/abolitionist-and-retentionist-countries
Law & Social Inquiry, Volume 34, Issue 3, 603–633, summer 2009
Robert Singh, PhD, Governing America: The Politics of a Divided Democracy, 2003
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