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Susan Sarandon who starred in a film about capital punishment called Dead Man Walking had an interesting conversation with her daughter about the film Sarandon was explaining to her young daughter how capital punishment works First Billy kills Steve then the government kills Billy to punish him for killing Steve To this the young girl replied well then who kills the government This little girl unwittingly stumbled into one of the most controversial topics in the world capital punishment In this speech I will give some background about capital punishment then using statistics and facts I will share why I believe that the death penalty is wrong I realize that some of you may disagree with me and thats understandable all I ask is that you listen to the facts before you decide to side with me or not Before hearing the arguments about capital punishment one must understand some of the history and basic information Capital Punishment according to webster is imposition of a penalty of death by the state The earliest recorded capital punishment was 1750 BC From the fall of Rome to the beginnings of the modern era capital punishment was practiced throughout Western Europe The modern movement for the abolition of capital punishment began in the 18th century with the writings of Montesquieu and Voltaire Some of the first countries to abolish capital punishment included Venezuela 1863 San Marino 1865 and Costa Rica 1877 As of the beginning of 1992 44 countries had abolished the death penalty while 16 other countries including the United Kingdom Canada and Israel retained capital punishment only for treason and war crimes There are 106 countries and territories that retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes burglary etc including many countries in the Caribbean Africa Asia and Eastern Europe as well as the republics of the former Soviet Union Since the 1970s almost all capital sentences in the United States have been imposed for
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