Capital Punishment

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Capital Punishment When thinking of capital punishment, a couple of familiar anecdotes come to mind. First of all, there is the one, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," and of course there is the saying, "the ultimate crime deserves the ultimate price." Both these are probably phrases most Americans have heard of or even live by. Capital punishment has been around since the idea of justice. Since the olden age when people were hung, quartered, or even decapitated for crimes they have committed. The most recent and highly publicized case where the issue of the capital punishment debate has been brought up was the execution of Timothy McVeigh, who is called by federal officials as the man responsible for the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. Before his execution of June 11, 2001, the dispute of whether he should be killed or not did not take long.

Although the man is responsible for 168 deaths, should America be so quick to decide to take his life away? It is ironic that in post-modern times that society is still lead to believe that death will justify another death. The death penalty is not justice- it is vengeance.

The death penalty is still around today because of the 1976 decision to restore executions. The Supreme Court stated, "It is an extreme sanction, suitable to the most extreme of crimes." The death penalty is still around mainly because it is believed that it serves as retribution for the families and friends of the victims. Killing the criminal is supposed to provide closure and help the grieving process of the victims' families. Reactions after the Timothy McVeigh execution were a bit disturbing as a woman who witnessed the murder of McVeigh left smiling as she saw the man...

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