Capital Punishment

Susan Gurley
August 01, 2011
English 126

                                                                      Capital Punishment
What is capital punishment? Capital punishment is a most inhuman form of punishment, denying individuals their fundamental rights to life as enshrined in the US constitution and should be abolished in the entire country.

The practice of capital punishment is as old as government itself. In the mid 18th century, social commentators in Europe began emphasize the worth of the individual and to criticize government practices they considered unjust, including capital punishment. The controversy and debate over whether governments should utilize the death penalty continue today. In the debate about execution and human dignity, supporters and opponents of the death penalty have found very little ground. Since the 18th century, those who wish to abolish the death penalty have stressed the significance of requiring government to recognize the importance of each individual. Early opponents of capital punishment also argued that inflicting death was not necessary to control crime and properly punish wrongdoers. Instead, alternative punishment such as imprisonment could effectively isolate criminals from the community, deter other potential offenders from committing offenses, and express the community’s condemnation of those who break its laws.

People still view capital punishment as a human rights issue, countries that are becoming more democratic have been eager t abolish the death penalty, which they associate with the former regime and its abuses of power.   An example is a number of former communist nations abolished capital punishment shortly after the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. The multiracial government of South Africa formed in 1994 quickly outlawed a death penalty many associated with apartheid, the official policy of racial segregation that had been in place since the late 1940s. In the late...