Capital Punishment in the United States of America.

Essay by Jamin0603 January 2003

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

What is capital punishment? Capital punishment is the maximum penalty of a conviction. More than 4, 400 people have been executed since 1930. There is no way of knowing how many people have been executed in U.S. history because they used to be local affairs with nobody to record them. On the edge of the 21st century, Capital punishment is still one of the two most debated issues in the U.S., the other is abortion. This paper will attempt to show the effects of capital punishment and how it is used. Capital punishment has been a very attention grabbing incident over the years. For example, in 1936, about 20,000 people gathered in Owensboro, Kentucky, on the morning of August 14 to see the hanging of a 22 year old black man, Rainey Bethea. Many people have also died wrongfully. Sacco and Vangetti were two Italian immigrants that were accused of payroll robbery.

Although they had alibis of there whereabouts, they were still convicted of the crime and sentenced to death by the electric chair. Nearly every culture throughout history has practiced capital punishment. Quartering was a popular method in Europe. Quartering is being torn apart by horses. In India, executions were sometimes carried out by having an elephant crush the condemned's head. In modern times, societies have sought to make executions more "humane." Such was the goal of the guillotine, which severed the condemned's head with a heavy blade, and the electric chair which kills with a massive dose of electrical current. The Constitution of the United States guarantees to every citizen certain fundamental rights. The First Amendment, for example guarantees freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. The Second Amendment promises that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The amendment...