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The issue of capital punishment has been an ongoing controversy for many centuries Punishment by death has been in practice since its first appearance in Babylonian writings by Hammurabi dating to 2000 BC This form of punishment was later termed as capital punishment Abolitionists of capital punishment rely on the eighth amendment for support Stating that the execution of an inmate regardless of its manner is cruel and unusual punishment Abolitionists also believe that the punishment is unnecessary and is not cost effective for the American taxpayers Finally abolitionists depend on the moral issue of the death penalty to band capital punishment Capital punishment advocates depend on religious sanctions to justify the death penalty Those who are for capital punishment believes that it maximizes public safety through incapacitation and deterrence In 1972 Furman v Georgia a case about the death penalty was brought before the Supreme Court The court held that the death penalty was given in an arbitrary way for a variety of crimes At this time the court also held that the death penalty focused mainly on African Americans and the under privileged This ruling stopped short of actually outlawing the use of the death penalty but it gave the states fair warning that the death penalty was in dire need of modification Later in 1976 in the case of Woodson v North Carolina the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory death penalties were unconstitutional However later in 1976 in the case of Gregg v Georgia the Supreme Court ruled that under adequate guidelines the death penalty was not considered cruel and unusual Therefore was not protected under the eighth amendment right that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment Studies have been done contradicting the Supreme Courts ruling stating that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment The process in which the body goes through during an execution is in its self-cruel and unusual In most cases the execution is very slow and
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