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Death Penalty.

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Death Penalty Capital Punishment is defined as "putting a condemned person to death" (Gillian 56). It is easy to understand that many people would be divided on this issue. When dealing with a person's life, it quickly becomes the issue of many. Some do not understand, how it is possible to take the criminal's life, when that is exactly what he did. Is this not showing him that it was okay to take another's life, if it is justifiable? The answer however, is no. By taking the criminals life, the government is simply fitting the punishment to the crime. Others would argue that these people's rights of the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness are being revoked. However, even if it is granted that capital punishment violates our duty to treat people with dignity, humanity, and love, that alone may not be a sufficient reason for abolishing the practice. Dignity, humanity and love are foundational moral goods and as such are prima facia in nature. That is, they are each morally binding on face value until a stronger duty emerges with which it conflicts, thereby creating a moral dilemma. ...read more.


The United States Supreme court has ruled on many cases involving the constitutionality of the death penalty. The eighth amendment states that cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted. In 1972, executions across the country were suspended after the court ruled in Furman v. Georgia. There the court ruled that the death penalty was cruel and unusual because it was "wantonly" and "freakishly" imposed. As a result of this case, the court said new guidelines needed to be set for judges and juries in capital punishment cases. That decision was later reversed in Gregg v. Georgia when the court declared that the death penalty was not unusual since three-fourths of states practiced it. For crimes other than murder the court has found capital punishment to be unconstitutional in most cases, since under the eighth amendment, the punishment must be related to the crime. Other important rulings the court has made include that the mentally disabled, juveniles over fifteen, and the insane may be executed. Current debates in Florida are questioning not whether the death penalty is cruel and unusual but whether the method of execution is. ...read more.


Additionally, opponents say that the judicial system in unfair and that racial and gender biases exist. A contemporary example of the flaws in the judicial system is the current situation in Illinois. There, the governor, although pro-death penalty, implemented a moratorium on executions after a group of Chicago journalism students found that 13 of 23 cases studied have wrongful convictions. Finally, opponents argue against retribution, saying it is just as bad as killing some one out of vengeance. It is recognized that there are flaws in the death penalty's application and for this reason it is supported that there should be a moratorium on the death penalty. However, it is easy to still believe in the theory of the death penalty. Supreme court justice Anotnin Scalia talks of a case of an eleven year old girl who was raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. Of this case he said, "How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared to that!" It is simple to believe, that in any case the punishment should fit the crime in cases of murder, capital punishment does just that without being cruel and unusual. Glick 1 ...read more.

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