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Should the US abolish the death penalty The death penalty also known as capital punishment is the legal infliction of death as a penalty for violating criminal law Methods of execution have included such practices as crucifixion stoning drowning burning at the stake impaling and beheading Today capital punishment is typically done by lethal gas or injection electrocution hanging or shooting For most of history it has not been considered controversial Since ancient times most governments have punished a wide variety of crimes by death and have conducted executions as a routine part of the administration of criminal law However in the mid-18th century social commentators in Europe began to emphasize the worth of the individual and to criticize government practices they considered unjust including capital punishment The death penalty should be abolished because of many factors including discrimination human error promotion of violence costliness and cruel and unusual punishment In practice the death penalty does not single out the worst offenders Rather it selects an arbitrary group based on such irrational factors as the quality of the defense counsel the county in which the crime was committed or the race of the defendant or victim Discrimination is a big factor because as much as the government tries they could never avoid falling into the situation Most defendants who are put on death row most likely cannot even afford their own attorney and they are assigned one The people that are assigned could be lacking experience or simply do not care about their defendants and do not do enough research and so the results would not be as accurate People who are involved in this situation are more likely to be put on death row With respect to race as discrimination statistics show that Blacks who murder Whites are 15 times more likely to be executed than if they murdered other Blacks AIUSA said 80 percent of the 845 people executed since the United States
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