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Abolish the Death Penalty By Mike Mahmudi E-mail mmahmudiaolcom Death Penalty The death penalty is a major issue that brings up a lot of arguments in our society The most important question concerning the death penalty is whether it should be abolished or not I think that the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights It is the ultimate cruel inhuman and degrading punishment Race social and economic status location of crime and pure chance may be deciding factors in death sentencing In addition prosecutors seek the death penalty far more frequently when the victim of the homicide is white than when the victim is black The actual cost of an execution is substantially higher than the cost of imprisoning a person for life Death was formerly the penalty for all felonies in English law In practice the death penalty was never applied as widely as the law provided as a variety of procedures were adopted to decrease the harshness of the law Many offenders who committed capital crimes were pardoned usually on condition that they agreed to be transported to what were then the American colonies others were allowed what was known as benefit of clergyPloski 2 The beginning of benefit of clergy was that offenders who were established priests were subject to trial by the church courts rather than the non-religious courts If the offender convicted of a felony could show that he had be ordained he was allowed to go free subject to the possibility of being punished by the ecclesiastical courts In medieval times the only proof of ordination was literacy and it became the custom by the 17th century to allow anyone convicted of a felony to escape the death sentence by giving proof of literacyPloski 4 In 18th-century England concern with rising crime led to many statutes either extending the number
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