Capital Punishment

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By definition to punish is " to cause undergo pain, loss; to impose a penalty" (Webster's New World Dictionary) Capital punishment has been around since approximately the eighteenth century, and back in that day death was not the harshest punishment available from law enforcement; Instead many of the people were tortured so bad, they would rather die then undergo the pain. Many people were burned, stoned, and beheaded. Still in today's society, the United States in particular practices capital punishment quite often. The Declaration of Independence tells us " Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." How does the government secure these rights? Governments prohibit interference with rights by law, and to make the legal prohibitions stick; governments threaten punishment to anyone who violates them. (Van den Haag, 53) When the law violation is very serious, the punishment can conclude in death. Capital punishment has become one of the biggest debating topics since 1976, when the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty. Capital punishment needs to be taken to another level to prevent the killing of innocent men, control and correctly administer that capital punishment is fair, and how heinous a crime must be to determine the sentence for imprisonment or capital punishment. False eyewitness testimony is the principle cause of wrongful convictions in U.S. courts. There are, of course, several types of eyewitness error, from simple cases of mistaken identification to perjured testimony. (Cohen, 39) This should be taken into consideration from our court system. The witnesses that testify may have seen the alleged killer, but how can they actually be so sure? In many states there is no formal procedure of hearing new... ... middle of paper ... ...on Civil and Constitutional Rights. Committee on the Judiciary. Innocence and the Death Penalty: Assessing the Danger of Mistaken Executions. Oct 1993. 25 Nov. 2004. United States. U.S. Dept. of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Bulletin. Dec. 1996. 21 Nov. 2004. Van den Haag, Ernest, John P. Conrad, and Arthur J. Goldberg. The Death Penalty a Debate. New York: Plenum P, 1983. Williams, Mary E., ed. The Death Penalty opposing viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 2002. Williams, Mary E., ed. Capital Punishment opposing viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 2000.

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