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Economic and Ethical Problems with Capital Punishment

Economic and Ethical Problems with Capital Punishment


Capital Punishment has been one of the most controversial topics in the past decade, and for that I will only be addressing certain aspects of the argument, due to its broadness. What is cruel and unusual punishment? Is having a man shot in the head or hung by a rope until he dies cruel and unusual? Also, why is it that the unknowing American tax payer has to blow there hard earned money on non human like criminals who feel no remorse for what they have done. The answer is elementary, Capital Punishment is unconstitutional and not cost effective.

According to the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, the people of the United States shall in no way receive any cruel or unusual punishment. That being the case, then what is cruel and unusual punishment? It is safe to say that Capital Punishment is highly unused and therefore unusual punishment. According to the Death Penalty Information Center nearly a fourth of the United States does not have an acting death penalty and of those that do nine have executed 3 or less inmates since 1976. Knowing these facts you can only conclude that the death penalty is highly unused and therefor is unusual punishment. Cruelty is even a more obvious when you examine the current methods of capital punishment. Electrocution, hanging, and a firing squad all of which are barbaric in origin to begin with. As stated by one of the Florida State Supreme Court Justices “execution by electrocution is a spectacle whose time has passed... Florida’s electric chair, by it’s own track record, has proven itself to be a dinosaur more benefiting the laboratory of the Baron Frankenstein than the death chamber of Florida State Prison” (the Death Penalty Information Center).

The Webster’s Dictionary defines justice as a “principle of moral or ideal rightness.” No where does he describe justice as a non forgiving force in which the punishment for a crime is death. Webster states that justice is an act conducted in a moral and reasonable fashion. The Supreme Court of the United States agreed with Webster in their search for justice in 1976 when the voted the death penalty was unconstitutional in Woodson v. North Carolina. The Supreme Court and Webster do not solely share this opinion about...

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