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As civilizations come and go the legal systems have helped them maintain law and order in their societies are also continuously evolving and being reformed to meet the changing judicial needs and social values of the people One of the most serious and most debated of these laws is the death penalty which is one of the oldest methods of punishment for crimes With the consequences being that it deprives a convict of his life causes emotional trauma to the family of the executed it has seen vehement opposition even as supporters hail it for its potency to reduce murders and maintain the dignity of human life of potential victims Though seen by opponents as being harsh execution is performed on behalf of the state in the public interest and only after due sentencing by a court The death penalty as a sentence is preceded by a long trial when a defendant has an opportunity to question the courts decision by submitting his or her appeal Often this leads to the situation whereby a person on death row can wait for his execution for many years a trend most clearly evident in the USA where convicts usually have to wait for final judgment for a decade or moreTowards the end of the twentieth century and the beginning twenty-first century there arose serious concerns that have radically changed the overall perspective on the death penalty in the world There is a definite trend towards a marked restriction In 1948 the death penalty was declined only by eight countries in the world there were nineteen of them by 1978 but the bulk of the capital punishment rejection occurred in the 1990s By 2001 109 countries in the world refused to have a death penalty Amnesty International points out that if in 1996 death sentences were carried out in 41 countries by 2000 they remained only in 28 of themThe United States of America is the only
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