Examine The Economic Pros And Cons Of The Death Penalty In The United States

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Examine the economic pros and cons of the death penalty in the United States


The death penalty is an issue that constantly stands today in a country like ours for two reasons, cultural and social dependence on the United States, a country currently applies the death penalty in some of their member states, on the other hand, terrorism as a national problem that sometimes pushes much of the public in the debate on the death penalty. Without doubt, the death penalty is the ultimate sanction and ancient history. Surely therefore, is what has occurred and continues today, more debate or discussion. This character of conflict is due also to the penalty carries a way of seeing society and in particular to the individual, especially the individual offender. Thus, in the debate, many disciplines are involved, labeled with the name of social science that range from sociology to criminology, to politics, philosophy and law among others. It is also clear that religion, though not one of these disciplines are also implicated, since religion also gives a view of the world and people.


The death penalty in the United States has seen its application challenging the Supreme Court during the 1960s and experienced a de facto moratorium in 1967. In 1972, Furman v. Georgiaprohibits arbitrary application of capital punishment. However, many states have revised their legislation by further defining where the death penalty may be imposed, and after the decisionGregg v. Georgia in 1976 that upheld the constitutionality of a law on the death penalty, executions resumed in the United States.

Fig.1 Map

In 2002 the death penalty exists in 37 states but is not applied by all. In addition to Illinois, fearing the execution of innocent people, decided a moratorium in January 2000, the list of non-abolitionist States shows that some did no longer applied since the mid-sixties. The death penalty is also at the federal level and in this context led to the execution, June 11, 2001, Timothy Mac Veigh, author of the Oklahoma City bombing. The District of Columbia where the capital Washington has against abolished in 1981. If we consider the evolution of the number of executions since 1976 (731 total), there is a strong increase between 1983 and 1984 (from 5 to 21) and 1993 (38), and especially from 1995 (56) to 1999 (98) and a relative decline, 85 persons who have suffered the death penalty in 2000, 48 since the beginning of 2001, 14 people still to be completed by the end of 2002. It may be noted that Texas has executed 40 people in 2000, ran 12 in 2001, the execution of six prisoners being planned by the end of 2002.

The debate on the death penalty, even if it focuses on the conditions of application of the principle of punishment, has been revived since the execution of women, the disabled and the finding of a strong presence of black minority (36%) among the convicts. He led 23 of the 38 states that apply it to reform their laws.

The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human ...
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