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Capital Punishment

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  • 1. Capital Punishment By Julia Levin
  • 2. Thesis
    • In the past, the government has regulated the use of the death penalty in the United States.
    • Presently, the individual states decide if the death penalty should be used.
    • In the future, the death penalty should be legal and used in all fifty states.
  • 3. Past
    • The death penalty was first introduced in America in 1608.
    • In colonial times people first began to speak out against capital punishment.
    • In 1890 the electric chair was used for the first time.
    • Some states implemented capital punishment while others did not.
  • 4. Past
    • In 1972, Supreme Court heard the case of Furman v. Georgia.
    • Ruled that the death penalty was “cruel and unusual punishment” and could result in arbitrary sentencing.
    • Capital punishment was suspended.
  • 5. Past
    • To get around Furman v. Georgia, states rewrote statutes.
    • 34 states enacted new laws.
    • In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled through Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty was legal.
  • 6. Present
    • Once declared constitutional, it was up to the individual state whether they wanted to use capital punishment.
    • In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled through Stanford v. Kentucky that minors could be executed.
    • The same year, the Supreme Court ruled through Penry v. Lynaugh that mentally challenged people could be sentenced to death.
  • 7. Present
    • In 1991, the Supreme Court ruled through Payne v. Tennessee that “victim impact” evidence was legal.
    • In 1994, the Violent Crime Control Act was passed. This Act extended the death penalty to include about 60 offenses.
    • In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled through Atkins v. Virginia that it violated the Eighth Amendment to execute someone mentally retarded.
    • Currently, 36 states use capital punishment.
  • 8. Future
    • In the future, the death penalty should be mandatory in all 50 states.
    • It deters criminals from committing crimes.
  • 9. Future
    • Capital Punishment is the only thing that can stop criminals from committing crimes.
    • If sentenced to life without parole, criminals have no incentive to not murder.
    • “ Assaults in prisons all over the US, both against fellow inmates and against staff, have more than doubled in the past decade.”-Criminal Justice Institute, Middletown, Connecticut.
  • 10. Future
    • With all the work and extra care that is put into cases of people up for the death penalty, there is very little chance that an innocent person will be wrongly sentenced.
    • Capital punishment isn’t cruel and unusual punishment, life sentence without parole is though.
  • 11. Future
    • The laws that specify what crimes are worthy of the death penalty should be clear and unchanging.
    • Murder, rape resulting in death, and rape of a minor are three crimes that are worthy of the death penalty.
    • The right to appeal should be limited to special cases. There are too many people sitting on death row because they are waiting for an appeal.
    • The only method of capital punishment should be lethal injection.
  • 12. Conclusion
    • The death penalty has been a very controversial issue through the decades.
    • Capital punishment is the only effective way to deter crime.
    • The Federal government has regulated the use of the death penalty in the past.
    • Now it is up to the individual state whether they want to use it.
    • In the future, it should be mandatory throughout the entire country.