Death Penalty: The United States Criminal Justice System

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Capital punishment, otherwise known as the death penalty, is a humane form of execution legally used on a person convicted of a capital crime such as murder, or treason. To some, capital punishment is justice, providing closure for the loss of a loved one. With others, however, it is just more senseless violence slowly tearing people apart. Due to its dark history, the ruthless discrimination it causes, and the major conflicts that it has created, capital punishment is considered to be one of the most controversial components of the United States Criminal Justice System.
The United States death penalty originated from European settlement in the colonies. It has come a long way, from the first-ever recorded U.S. execution, to the abolitionist
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During the sixteenth Century in Britain, crimes such as marrying a Jew, or denying the “one true God” were punishable by death (“History”). Considering the fact that Britain was predominantly Christian during this time, there was little to no religious tolerance. Crucifixion was one of the most used forms of execution at this time. In the United States, while some states were abolishing capital punishment, some were making new death laws exclusively for slaves (“Death Penalty”). Since the vast majority of slaves in the U.S. were African American, these new laws discriminated against them exclusively. The colonies also attempted to limit the number of foreign interactions by making trading with Indians illegal. These new corrupted laws were the main cause of unjust bias in the Criminal Justice…show more content…
The rate of executions has drastically dropped since then (“Death Penalty”). Thanks to the Eighth Amendment, and more equal representation in the legal system, the rate of unlawful executions has receded. The highest number of executions was ninety-eight in 1999. Currently, only thirty-one states in the U.S. still use Capital Punishment (“Some Examples”). Oklahoma is included among those thirty-eight remaining states that still use the death penalty. Lethal injection is now the only means of execution in the United States. Although the death penalty is still flawed, and a sensitive topic to some, it has greatly improved since its start in colonial
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