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Capital Punishment Each year there are about 250 people added to death row and 35 executed The death penalty is the most severe form of punishment enforced in the United Sates today Lethal injection is the most common form used today There was a period from 1972 to 1976 that capital punishment was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court The reason for this decision was that the death penalty was deemed cruel and unusual punishment under the eighth amendment The decision was reversed when new methods of execution were introduced This paper will show that the purpose of capital punishment is consistent with and embodies the purpose of the criminal justice system Lets imagine for a moment there was no death penalty The only reasonable sentence would a life sentence This would be costly to the taxpayers not only for the cost of housing and feeding the prisoner but because of the numerous appeals which wastes man-hours and money By treating criminals in this manner we are encouraging behavior that will result in a prison sentence If there is no threat of death to one who commits a murder other than that person is guaranteed to be provided with a decent living environment until their next parole hearing they are certainly not receiving the punishment they deserve Killing a deserving person has to be cheaper than housing feeding and putting up with his or her constant appeals If capital punishment did not ever exist just life imprisonment we would have many more costly prisons The death penalty can save lives by stopping repeat murderers but does it deter murder Opponents of the death penalty argue that there is no deterrent effect However there are a number of studies that indicate that the contrary is true A study by W Bailey of the period from 1967-68 showed a deterrent effect in twenty-seven states A later
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