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Word Count: 590
Cruel and unusual these two words have caused much debate on the issue of capital punishment In the eighth amendment it states that cruel and unusual punishment should not be inflected But what does cruel and unusual mean Cruel means causing pain and suffering and the word unusual means not usual beyond the ordinary not in common use uncommon So cruel and unusual punishment means to cause pain and suffering in an uncommon way In different situations what is considered cruel and unusual in one case may not be so in another When this amendment was written it couldnt have been to get rid of capital punishment because it was practiced in those days Years ago the common methods were hangings or firing squads Since 1976 one person has been executed by a firing squad and two people legally hanged But times are changing and so is the view of capital punishment being cruel and unusual In some situations capital punishment can be cruel and unusual For example if the person is not guilty of the crime he was convicted of But in this case simply being in jail would be a cruel and unusual punishment for an innocent man Another example is if something goes wrong with the equipment being used to kill the person causing him to go through great pain and suffering before dying Or if the person lives and the method of killing him has to be administered again This happened on May 4 1990 in Florida It took three attempts of 2000-volt shocks in the electric chair to kill a man named Jesse Tafero This obviously would cause a person a lot of pain and suffering and definitely fall under the category of cruel and unusual But on the other hand there are some situations where capital punishment is not cruel and unusual If the person is truly guilty for the crime he is being punished
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