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Cruel and Unusual Punishment: the Death Penalty

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Death Penalty I remember watching the movie Dead Man Walking; it was about this man named Matthew Poncelet who allegedly raped a girl and killed a teenage boy. Poncelet pleaded not guilty, but was convicted as a murderer and put on death row. He asked for several appeals stating that Carl Vitello, the man he was with at the time, was the one that should be at fault. Poncelet seems very convincing that it wasn’t him, but at the end, the courts had enough evidence to grant Poncelet the retribution of execution. The movie has me questioning America’s justice system; what if someone was actually innocent? Is it right to kill someone as a consequence for their wrong doing? To some, it seems like the right thing to do. If someone breaks the rules you simply punish them. But how should we carry out these punishments? When eight-year-old Billy steals a candy bar from Seven Eleven, you can bet that one of the parents will deliver some whippings. In Texas, when I was in elementary school, I started a fight, and as a result I got sent to the principal’s office and received three licks with a paddle. So where do we draw the line? At a higher level, what happens to me if I kill someone? Since the beginning of time, societies in almost every culture and background have used capital punishment or physical chastisement as a consequence for the killing of others. But, we shouldn’t be doing this anymore; life is too valuable. Even though some people have made mistakes in their lives, its time for the United States to free the judicial systems from their power to take peoples life’s as a consequence for people taking the life of another.

In 1972, with the Furman v. Georgia case, the Supreme Court recognized that capital punishment was indeed a roll of the dice, and as a consequence held that as practiced it violated the Cruel and…...

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