Capital Punishment

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In 2013, the United States as a nation executed a total of thirty-nine people. In the last five years, the number of executions has been decreasing. If someone commits a capital crime and they are found guilty, they can be put on death row where they wait in prison until it is their turn to be executed. This is capital punishment, or the death penalty. According to CNN.com, “since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court, 1,362 people have been executed as of January 2014.” When the constitution was first composed, citizens convicted would only need to wait on death row for days or weeks. The length of time has increased dramatically; nowadays someone must wait numerous years. This is a widely debated topic in the U.S. and could directly affect any one of its citizens someday in the future. Some people believe capital punishment is considered cruel and unusual punishment, however, others think it deters crime and helps families of victims cope. The death penalty should be viewed as constitutional and ethical, for it has several beneficial attributes such as giving families closure, deterring murder, and it costs the government less money overall. The families of the victims, and in some cases the victims themselves, can benefit from the capital punishment as it gives them closure. When the executions take place, the families can finally dismiss any fear or anger left over from when the crime was committed. They can understand that they have been taken seriously and that it is finally all over. They can feel safe knowing that the condemned cannot take revenge. They can feel relief and peace knowing that justice has been served. It might give them comfort to know that the offender cannot do anyone else ... ... middle of paper ... ...104. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Mar. 2014. Rogers, Simon. "Death Penalty Statistics from the US: Which State Executes the Most People?" Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 21 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. "Statistics: Death Sentences, Capital Case Costs, and Executions." Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual?. Kim Masters Evans. 2012 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. "Executions by Year." DPIC. Death Penalty Information Center, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2014. "Argumentative Essay on Capital Punishment." Web log post. Hot Essays. N.p., 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. "Death Penalty Fast Facts." CNN. Cable News Network, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2014. "Retribution (In Support of the Death Penalty)." Retribution (In Support of the Death Penalty). N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014.

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