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Death Penalty - Essay 10

  • Date Submitted: 10/30/2011 08:08 AM
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American Government and Economics


Capital punishment is the death penalty.   It is used today and was used in ancient times to punish a variety of offenses. Even the bible advocates death for murder and other crimes like kidnapping and witchcraft.   When the word death penalty is used,   it makes yelling and screaming from both sides of extremist.   One side may say deterrence, while the other side may say,   but you   may execute an innocent man.   Today, one of the most debated issues in the Criminal Justice System   is the issue of capital punishment or the death penalty.   Capital punishment was legal until 1972, when the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia stating that it violated the Eight and Fourteen Amendments citing cruel and unusual punishment.   However, in 1976, the Supreme Court reversed itself with Gregg v. Georgia and reinstated the death penalty but not all states   have the death penalty.   Thirteen states do not have the death penalty:   Alaska, District of Colombia, Hawaii, Iowa, Main, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.   Despite continuing controversy, executions continue apace in the United States. Late last year, we witnessed the 1000th U.S. execution since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1977. The United States trails only China, Iran, and Vietnam in the number of executions according to Amnesty International.

Becker, Gary, (2006) “On the Economics of Capital Punishment”, The Economists’ Voice: Vol. 3: No. 3, Article 4, available at

  * Deterrence---  
  * M. Radelet and R. Akers, "Deterrence and the Death Penalty: The Views of the Experts." Northern Illinois University
  * N. Berliner, K. Gardner, & E. Thibault, "Deterrent Value and the Cost of Death Penalty," University of Vermont (1998)


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