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Word Count: 562
In the old days putting people to death who were judged to have committed horrible acts was done without thought In the US in the later half of the twentieth century a very controversial issue rose This issue was the death penalty commonly known as capital punishment Changing views on this issue led the Supreme Court to get rid of capital punishment in 1972 but later to revive it under certain conditions The death penalty was first abolished in Michigan in 1847 In the US in 1967 all states could no longer use the death penalty to punish the accused The courts had to decide whether or not it was unconstitutional Ten years later the death penalty was put back into action and by 1991 150 people were executed in the US There are many methods of execution used in the US today Hanging firing squad gas chamber electrocution and lethal injection are a few common ones Most laws limit the death penalty to murder and other specific crimes that result in a persons death The death penalty is reserved for a small number of convicted first-degree murders whose crimes are extremely severe Murder is divided into degrees First degree is characterized by intention or deliberate acts It usually includes the killing of another while committing a felony Out of 5580 persons given death sentences from 1973-1995 just 313 had been executed at the end of 1995 During 1995 310 condemned persons entered the nations prisons while just 56 convicts all convicted killers were executed The death penalty brings up many issues such as the cost risk of executing an innocent person morals and whether it is unconstitutional The annual cost of incarceration is 40000 to 50000 a year for each prisoner or more There is a risk that an innocent person will be killed for a crime they did not commit and also
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