The Death Penalty: Right or Wrong?

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This essay will discuss the various views regarding the death penalty and its current status in the United States. It can be said that almost all of us are familiar with the saying “An eye for an eye” and for most people that is how the death penalty is viewed. In most people’s eyes, if a person is convicted without a doubt of murdering someone, it is believed that he/she should pay for that crime with their own life. However, there are some people who believe that enforcing the death penalty makes society look just as guilty as the convicted. Still, the death penalty diminishes the possibility of a convicted murderer to achieve the freedom needed to commit a crime again; it can also be seen as a violation of the convicted person’s rights going against the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Eighth Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791 and it states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” (Rossum & Tarr, 2009). However, since the latter part of the 1970’s the United States has proceeded with the execution of 1277 convicted felons (Death Penalty Information Center, 2011). To many people these executions represent a violation of the felon’s constitutional rights and should not have been allowed. On the other hand, if we take an in-depth look, we can see that death caused by electrocution or lethal injection recognizably would not be considered immoral or unjustified provided that the felon was granted a fair trial in a court of law (Bedau, Cassell, 2004). Looking closer, it would seem as if the very ground on which the United States was founded on seems to be shaken by the continuance of the death penalty in over 37 of its 50... ... middle of paper ... NAACP, 2011. A quarterly report by the criminal justice project of the NAACP legal And educational fund, Inc. Retrieved from Rocha, S. (Author). (2006). For Laci: A mother’s story of love, loss, and justice. Retrieved from Rossum, R.A., Tarr, G.A. (Authors). American constitutional law, Volume 2: The bill of rights and subsequent amendments (8th edition). Boulder CO, USA: Westview Press, 2009. p. 837. Zimring, F.E. (Author). (2004). Contradictions of American capital punishment. Retrieved from

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