The Debate Over Capital Punishment

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For many year, the death penalty has been widely debated throughout the United States. We as a country are divided on this topic; half believing it is unjust, unconstitutional, inhumane, and cruel. The other half believing it is morally just and constitutional. Those thinking it is cruel want capital punishment abolished. The others want to see it revised and maintained.

Capital punishment is being sentenced to death and executed for committing various crimes. Usually, it is reserved for convicted murder cases, but had been used for others such as: armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, and treason. Only about sixty countries still use capital punishment – the United States included. Canada, Australia, and most European and Latin American nations have abolished it. (Taylor)

Governments have executed criminals by a variety of methods. Some of these included hanging, crucifixion, stoning, beheading, and poisoning. In other countries common methods were shooting by a firing squad, electrocution, and deadly gas. The most common method used in the United States is lethal injection. According to World Book, the use of capital punishment declined in the 1900’s. The United States is the only industrialized Western nation still using capital punishment. (Taylor)

Several believe the death penalty is a deterrent of crime. Ernest Van Den Haag said, “People fear nothing more than death. Murderers clearly prefer a life sentence in prison to an execution. And we must execute murderers as long as it is merely possible that their execution protects other citizens from future murder.”

Others also question the morality. Abolitionists may contend that the death penalty is inherently immoral because governments sh...

... middle of paper ... can’t be abolished, maintained, discussed for revision, or decided it’s too flawed to even attempt a fix up. As was said before, this is something that has been widely talked about for centuries. But we as a society will nonetheless push forward until we figure out the glitches and come up with safer alternatives.

Works Cited

Capital Punishment Compared…” The Virginian Pilot (28 June 2007): 8 Nov. 2013

• Henningfield, Diane. The Death Penalty. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven, 2006

• "Top 10 Pros and Cons." 13 Apr. 2009. Web. 12 Nov.


• Smith, Patricia. “The Death Penalty Debate: Illinois.” New York Times upfront. 18

Apr. 2011: 12

• Taylor, Robert W. “Capital Punishment.” World Book Advanced. World Book,

2013. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
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