Death Penalty

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Crime: The Price We Pay Today American correction facilities experience a crisis of epic proportions. United States prisons and jails house inmates in record numbers with no relief. This situation leads many to suggest that overcrowding in prisons constitutes an important issue facing American correction reform today. One way to deal with overcrowded prisons is to enforce the death penalty. According to David Davis, infliction of the death penalty for certain secular crimes, such as murder and robbery, associates historically with the rise of the modern state (23). He also states, in England the death penalty was rationally defended as a means for protecting the king’s peace (23). Capital punishment dates back to 1787, where tactics were used such as decapitation, firing squads, and hangings. Just recently death penalties were carried out by means of electrocution and lethal injection. Enforcing capital punishment ensures a means of reducing recidivism for those who commit heinous crimes. Heinous crimes that consist of proven murders, terrorist situations, and rape deserve the death penalty. Increasing capital punishment promotes the reform of prisons by reducing recidivism, increasing deterrence, and decreasing prison population. 4148 2 Overcrowded prisons constitutes a major problem for American correction facilities today. Capital punishment relieves the problem of overcrowded prisons. The Orange County register reports, the U.S. prison population increased by 100,000 inmates in 1997, to more than 1.7 million in twelve months (15). In the year 1975, when the death penalty was deceased, crime rates skyrocketed (Orange County Register 15). High-populated prisons present health problems also. AIDS constitutes one major health problem in prisons today. According to Lynn Goodnight, rape is a potential effect of overcrowding (56). Inmates that don’t practice safe sex cost the penal system millions a year in doctor bills. The grim reality of sexual relations between inmates brings forth problems. Inmates that have sex with each other often transmit diseases that turn many prison sentences into death sentences. In addition to health problems, overcrowded prisons also cause violence among inmates. High-populated prisons are known to have riots break out on weekly bases (Goodnight 78). Several inmates have appealed to the Supreme Court about overcrowded prisons. The Supreme Court states that crowding alone is unconstitutional. Inmates state, “living in an overcrowded prison is cruel and unusual, which goes against the eighth amendment” (Goodnight 187). In order to keep court cost down, silly cases such as this should be thrown out.
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