Death Penalty


This question is looking for your views on whether capital punishment is "cruel and unusual " under the 8th Amendment. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:


Capital Punishment

The death penalty is currently implemented in 30 states. It was re-legalized by a Supreme Court decision in 1977. Since then, 552 people have been executed. About 3,335 inmates remain on ‘Death Row.’ Texas is by far the national leader in executions -- it has executed 178 people as of June 1999, 32% of the national total.

Much of the current controversy about the death penalty focuses on the circumstances where it should be applied, and on its unequal application among racial and socioeconomic classes. About 52% of death row inmates are Black or other minority, versus 17% in the general population. Over 98% of death row inmates are male.

Amendments V and VIII to the US Constitution

V. No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.... (1791)
VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. (1791)


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