The death penalty was common in most states up until the late 20th century, however, some states including Rhode Island and Wisconsin abolished the death penalty as early as the mid 1800s. In the 1972 US Supreme Court case Furman v. Georgia the justices, in a 5 to 4 vote ruled that a certain statute of the death penalty: complete jury discretion, which can lead to arbitrariness of a death penalty conviction, is to be considered cruel and unusual punishment and declared unconstitutional in violation of the 8th amendment. In response many state legislatures simply reworded their laws to accommodate the new ruling (DPIC). The death penalty, with new approved statutes was reinstated in the affected states in 1976. Since this time over 1,300 men and women have been executed in the United States.
Many people believe that the cost of an execution would be far less than the...
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...age murder rate in states without the death penalty was only 3.3 (DPIC). This discrepancy does little support the assertion that capital punishment will discourage severe crimes.
Since the death penalty is decided on a state-by-state basis it is a nearly constant topic of debate. As of now, Delaware government is considering repealing the death penalty, and could become the nineteenth state to abolish capital punishment. If the death penalty remains legal and in practice this country will merely perpetuate a culture of violence and vengeance by reverting back to the primitive concept of “an eye for an eye” or in this case “a life for a life.” If we federally abolish the death penalty our system will be more cost efficient, no innocent lives will be lost and we as a country will not be responsible for the completely avoidable deaths of hundreds of our own citizens.
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