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Contemporary Issues-Death Penalty

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Contemporary Issues: Death Penalty
Faith Clark
University Phoenix Online
CJA 313
Timothy Walsh
November 10, 2009

Contemporary Issues: Death Penalty “Capital punishment or the death penalty, is the execution of a person by judicial process as a punishment for an offense. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from Latin capitalis, literally "regarding the head" (Latin caput). Hence, a capital crime was originally one punished by the severing of the head.” Execution of criminals and political opponents has been used by nearly all societies—both to punish crime and to suppress political dissent. In most places that practice capital punishment it is reserved for murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest and sodomy, carry the death penalty. What does the death penalty do? Is it effective? Is it worth the cost? In United States, Michigan was the first state to ban the death penalty, on May 18, 1846. The death penalty was declared unconstitutional between 1972-1976 based on the Furman v. Georgia case, but the 1976 Gregg v. Georgia case once again permitted the death penalty under certain circumstances. Currently thirty five states plus the US military and Government's permit the death penalty, while fifteen states and the District of Columbia do not. Of the states where the death penalty is permitted, California has the largest number of inmates on death row, while Texas has been the most active in carrying out executions by executing an estimated 1/3 of all executions . There have been a total of one thousand one hundred and seventy-eight executions with 3297 inmates currently on death row waiting for execution. With no executions in 1976 and a spike of 98 in 1999 it has dropped...

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