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Negatives to the Death Penalty

Uploaded by srheric on Apr 23, 2007

Negatives to the Death Penalty

The death penalty is one of the most emotionally charged and controversial issues in the United States today. The death penalty has been continuously debated, not only as a legal issue, but as a religious and ethical one, historically as well as in present day. People have used a number of arguments to support their position regarding the death penalty. Among these arguments have been deterrence, cost, moral beliefs, and the possibility of mistake. I feel that the death penalty must be abolished because it is morally and ethically wrong and serves no true purpose.

From it’s beginning, America included the death penalty in the legal punishments as part of it’s criminal justice system. Over the course of history, governments have been extremely inventive in devising ways to execute people. At one time or another people were flayed, their skins cut from their bodies, strip by strip, sawed into pieces, or beaten to death. Others were shot with arrows, thrown from a high place onto rocks or stakes, boiled alive in water or oil, eaten by insects, bitten by poisonous snakes, buried alive or walled up in cement. Others still were drowned, suffocated in a bog, quicksand or a soft pit of ashes, whipped to death, left in a cell to die of starvation or thirst, or left outdoors to die of exposure to the elements.

The gas chamber was the first new means of execution developed. The condemned prisoner is strapped into a chair in a small, airtight chamber. Below the death chamber is a container of sulfuric acid. At the appointed moment, a white cloth bag containing cyanide pellets is dropped into the acid. A chemical reaction takes place filling the room with gas. The cyanide interferes with the victim’s respiratory system and eventually the brain loses consciousness. Soon the other vital organs give out. One expert compares the experience of being asphyxiated by cyanide gas to the pain felt during a massive heart attack. Constitutional?

The electric chair, first used in the U.S. in 1890, is currently the second most commonly used method of execution here. The victim is strapped into a wooden chair, and copper electrodes are attached to his or her head and legs. At the appropriate time, a massive electrical charge is passed...

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Uploaded by:   srheric

Date:   04/23/2007

Category:   Capital Punishment

Length:   6 pages (1,239 words)

Views:   7064

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