Capitol punishment has not always been a controversial issue. For most of history, most governments have punished numerous crimes by way of death. However, in the mid-18th century critics of this form of punishment began to emphasize the worth of the individual. They considered these practices unjust. The controversy and debate continue today.
The first significant movement to the abolishment of the death penalty occurred during an era known as the Age of Enlightenment. Critics of capitol punishment protest that it is brutal and degrading. They also contend that it is a violation of human rights and goes beyond the limits of governmental power.
Early critics of the death penalty objected to its brutality. The executions were publicized and were done using cruel methods. In the past, people were often executed by way of decapitation. Others were hung, shot, drowned, or burned at the stake. Present methods of executions in various states include injection where a deadly cocktail drips from an IV into the victim’s arm and hanging where the executioner places a noose around the convict’s neck, a trap door opens and the convict drops. The fall is fixed to snap the third and fourth cervical vertebrae or cause asphyxiation. A third method is the firing squad; in this case a five-person execution team aim against a convict’s trunk. A fourth method is the electrocution chair where the convict is strapped to a specially built chair and jolted with electrodes. The power of the jolt varies from state to state. Finally, the gas chambers where the prisoner becomes unconscious within seconds and chokes to death. This form of punishment was also used for minor offenses, not solely for the serious crimes. T...
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...ses of power and countries that are becoming more democratic have been eager to abolish the death penalty.
The death penalty is an example of cruel and unusual punishment. It is a violation of our 8th amendment right. Killing, whether carried out by an individual or the state, is immoral and should not to be condoned. Regardless of which method is used, the death penalty is a barbaric form of punishment and should be abolished. I believe that one should not take something they do not have the ability to give and only God can give a life.
National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Focus on the Death Penalty
Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual?
Gottfried, Ted Capital Punishment: The Death Penalty Debate
Enslow Publishers Inc. 1997
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