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I believe that capital punishment is a justifiable means of punishment for the most heinous crimes. In addition, the means of execution should not matter if the basic principle behind this form of justice can be justified by the specific crime. This is why my opinion is that any form of capital punishment in effect in the United States today is warranted and fair.
Recent executions have drawn a great deal of publicity to the subject of whether death by electrocution is "cruel and unusual". Cases such as that of Pedro Medina, whose mask caught on fire during the procedure, and Jesse Tafero, whose head caught on fire, provide examples of punishments gone wrong, and therefore punishments possibly being cruel and unusual. At this moment, all executions in Florida are on hold as the Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether or not the electric chair is cruel and unusual. However, there are just a few examples of botched cases, concentrated in Florida. Other evidence provided by those opposing the use of electrocution as a form of the death penalty is the fact that the 2,000 volts of electricity cause every muscle in the body to contract, something that should be very painful. However, even withstanding this argument, I believe that capital punishment in any form allowed by the U.S. Constitution at this moment is justified.
I believe that if every person is given one life, another person does not have the right to take an extra one. A murderer has forfeited the quota and his life is not his responsibility or fate any longer. The punishment is then decided by the society the murderer is a part of. The United States has adopted execution as a legal means of punishment and I agree with the method and the principle behind it. I believe that if lethal injections or electrocutions or any other forms of capital punishment were televised, or at least made more public, it would serve as a real deterrent. In other countries where severe punishment is more public, the rate of crime is tremendously lower. Although I understand that many atrocious crimes are committed in moments of passion or inebriation or chemical highs, many are committed as calculated events.
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If we look at how long capital punishment has gone on to some degree or another for the length of human civilization, it is evident that it spans cultures and times as an accepted form of punishment. Considering how painless it is compared to the types of executions in the past and today in other parts of the world, I think it is indeed a very fair and uncruel form of punishment. It would probably even serve as a an actual deterrent if it were more widely understood and made more public.