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Tug of War A Deep Look Into The Controversy Surrounding The Death Penalty Is the death penalty fair Is it humane Does it deter crime The answers to these questions vary depending on who answers them The issue of capital punishment raises many debates These same questions troubled Americans just as much in the day of the Salem witch trials as now in the say of Timothy McVeigh During the time of the Salem witchcraft trials they had the same problem as present society faces Twenty innocent people had been sentenced to death It was too late to reverse the decision and the jurors admitted to their mistake The execution of innocent people is still a major concern for American citizens today Capital punishment barely made its way into American society In Britain public executions were festive and frequent in the 15th century At the same time a movement to abolish the death penalty gained support throughout Europe In 1753 Russia became the first important nation to ban the death penalty The English instilled the death penalty upon America when it was just a colony Ben Franklin opposed the death penalty as he helped write the Bill of Rights and the well alluded to 8th Amendment In 1846 Michigan was the first to repeal capital punishment By 1917 ten states had repealed capital punishment By the mid 1960s the death penalty seemed fated for extinction Only seven executions were conducted in 1965 and only one in 1966 For about ten years supporters and opposers of capital punishment looked to the Supreme Court for a final ruling on the constitutionality of the death penalty The word came out in 1976 in the case of Gregg v Georgia The court ruled that the punishment of death does not violate the Constitution Many call capital punishment unconstitutional and point to the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution for support The amendment states that Excessive bail shall
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