Capital Punishment Essay - Death Penalty is Neither Cruel Nor Unusual

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Death Penalty is Neither Cruel Nor Unusual A man sits immobile in a steel chair with a metal cap resting on his bald head. A priest reads selections from the Bible telling him he will go to Heaven if he confesses his sins to God. The man just smiles as the security guard pulls the switch, and one thousand volts of electricity flows through the man's body. His entire frame shakes in convulsions as his head bobs up and down with the shock. In a couple of seconds the man's life is over. The priest prays, makes the sign of the cross on his chest, and, turning slowly, walks out the door. Capital punishment has been around for many years and has spanned many centuries. Between 1927 and 1963, the U.S. had used capital punishment, or legal execution by lethal injection, electricity, hanging, gas chamber or firing squad, for certain federal offenses. The federal and state death penalty was voted unconstitutional in 1972 by the United States Supreme Court. In 1976 the Supreme Court passed a bill allowing the death penalty in those states that accepted it. Because of a drug-kingpin conspiracy in 1988, the federal death penalty was approved, but had to be consistent to the 1976 ruling. An omnibus crime bill was passed in 1994 to improve the federal penalty for about sixty different crimes. Some of those crimes include murder of government officials, murder for hire, any misdemeanor crimes, such as kidnapping or sexual abuse crimes, resulting in death and also some crimes not resulting in death such as the running of a large drug operation (Amsterdam). "The great writ", which is Latin for "you have the body", lets a federal judge examine convictions in state courts. Over fifty cases have been reviewed for such things as lack of ... ... middle of paper ... ..."Bryan Stevenson." People. November 27, 1995. pp. 71-76. Haag, Ernest van den. "Executing Juvenile Murderers Is Just." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA. Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1991. pp. 82-85. Klaidman, Daniel. " 'The Great Writ' Hit." Newsweek. May 6, 1996. pp. 72. Lewin, Tamar. "Punishable By Death: Who Decides Who Will Die? Even Within States, It Varies." New York Times . February 23, 1995. SIRS. Pakaluk, Michael. "Christians Can Morally Support The Death Penalty." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1991. pp. 67-73. Steffen, Lloyd. "The Death Penalty Is Unjust." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA. Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1991. pp. 61-66. Sullum, Jacob. "The Death Penalty Is Just." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA. Greenhaven Press, Inc. 1991. pp. 57-60.

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