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Death Penalty The death penalty is a major issue that brings up a lot ofarguments in our society The most important question concerning the deathpenalty is whether it should be abolished or not I think that the death penaltyis the ultimate denial of human rights It violates the right to life as proclaimedin the Universal Declaration of Human Rights It is the ultimate cruel inhumanand degrading punishment Race social and economic status location ofcrime and pure chance may be deciding factors in death sentencing Inaddition prosecutors seek the death penalty far more frequently when thevictim of the homicide is white than when the victim is black The actual costof an execution is substantially higher than the cost of imprisoning a person forlife Death was formerly the penalty for all felonies in English law In practicethe death penalty was never applied as widely as the law provided as avariety of procedures were adopted to decrease the harshness of the lawMany offenders who committed capital crimes were pardoned usually oncondition that they agreed to be transported to what were then the Americancolonies others were allowed what was known as benefit of clergyPloski 2The beginning of benefit of clergy was that offenders who were establishedpriests were subject to trial by the church courts rather than the non-religiouscourts If the offender convicted of a felony could show that he had beordained he was allowed to go free subject to the possibility of beingpunished by the ecclesiastical courts In medieval times the only proof ofordination was literacy and it became the custom by the 17th century toallow anyone convicted of a felony to escape the death sentence by givingproof of literacyPloski 4 In 18th-century England concern with rising crimeled to many statutes either extending the number of offenses punishable withdeath or doing away with benefit of clergy for existing felonies which as aresult became capitalBlack 2 By the end of the 18th-century Englishcriminal law contained about 200 capital offenses Many
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