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Death Penalty

The death penalty is legal in thirty-two states in the United States. New Mexico, Connecticut, and Maryland have completely repealed the capital punishment but there are still people on death row that will be executed. As of 2014, over three thousand prisoners are awaiting to be executed. Since it’s reinstatement in 1976, over thirteen thousand death row inmates have been executed. The Federal Government has sixty-nine people that are waiting to be executed and since it’s reinstatement the United States Government has executed three people.

In the United States there is fifty-seven women are on death row and fifteen have been executed since it was reestablished. Between nineteen 1985 and 2003, twenty-two people have been executed that were charged when they were sixteen and seventeen years old. But as of 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles couldn’t be sentenced to the capital punishment. Clemencies are very rare but since 1976, two hundred and seventy five have been granted. If an inmate is on federal death row, then the president is the only one that can pardon them.

In 1843, Pennsylvania was the first state to move their executions into a correctional facility, this ended public executions. And a couple years later in 1846, Michigan was the first state to abolish the capital punishment, except for treason. Many methods have been used to execute a person, including hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, and lethal injection in recent years. Everyone has there own opinion on the capital punishment and whether it is humane or not. That is all in the eye of the beholder because there are two ways to look at it. These people murdered people and their punishment is to get murdered themselves or it doesn’t matter what you did, life in prison is more than enough to pay for your crime.

Which brings about the question of innocent people. Since 1973, one hundred and forty death row inmates have been freed or exonerated for their crimes. This is because of DNA testing and other facts that have come to light after they were sentenced. Which begs the question of how many people that were already executed that were innocent. That is one of the main downfalls of the death penalty; an innocent man or woman could be executed. Another thing that people really don’t like about the death penalty is how it is handed out, if it is fair, two people could do the same crime but one gets the death penalty and the other gets life. How is that fair?