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Word Count: 567
The Death Penalty with opposing viewpoints The first death penalty laws were first used in the eighteenth century BC which was the penalty for 25 different crimes Death sentences consisted of crucifixion drowning beating and being burnt alive Hanging was the usual method in Britain in the tenth century AD In the sixth century some common methods were boiling burning hanging and beheading Some crimes that brought these penalties were marrying a Jew not confessing to a crime and treason By the 1700s 222 crimes were punishable by death in Britain It was the country that influenced America to use the death penalty more than any other country There are currently 38 states in the US with the death penalty The most common crime is first-degree murder Death penalties come at a high price In Texas a death penalty case costs taxpayer an average of 23 million which is about three times the cost of 40 years in prison California could save 90 million each year by abolishing the death penalty The cost of sentencing one person to one year in jail averages between 25000 and 40000 The annual nationwide cost of building maintaining and operating prisons is about 60 billion today Within 15 years we will be spending more on prisons than we are currently spending on national defense Court Cases Illinois House Judiciary Committee Votes to Ban Death Penalty The Illinois House Judiciary Committee voted to abolish the death penalty After hearing testimony from men who were wrongly sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit members of the committee voted 8-4 to support the ban Among those testifying was Illinois death row Gary Gauger who was wrongly convicted for the murder of his parents The abolition bill now goes to House floor for consideration Associated Press March 6 2003 Execution of Texas Man Slated for March 12 Despite Questions of Innocence Texas is scheduled to execute Delma Banks
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