In this paper I will discuss the history of the death penalty.
Due to prejudice and bias, poor people, and people from minority sections become soft target for such capital punishments, as unrestricted discretion has been offered to District attorney.
In the United States only 38 states have capital punishment statutes.
The main argument that retribution is immoral is that it is just a sanitised form of vengeance. Scenes of howling mobs attacking prison vans containing those accused of murder on their way to and from court, or chanting aggressively outside prisons when an offender is being executed, suggest that vengeance remains a major ingredient in the public popularity of capital punishment.
If later investigations find that there has been an error in judgment, then it can release the person and compensate him for the injustice, however, in case of a death penalty, the jury can do nothing apart from feeling guilty for taking the life of an innocent.
Generally, it is observed that capital punishment is inflicted unduly on the poor and minorities.
The lawful infliction of death as a punishment; the death penalty
On 18 December 2008, the United Nations adopted resolution 63/168, which is a reaffirmation of its call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (62/149) passed in December the previous year. The resolution calls for states to freeze executions with a view to eventual abolition.
Perhaps the most influential essay for the anti-death penalty ..
Among nations with representative governments, the United States stands almost alone in its use of the death penalty. Since the death penalty has been abolished in all European and South American countries, the U.S. shares the practice of capital punishment with such countries as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran. Other democracies, as well as international human rights groups like Amnesty International, exert pressure on the U.S. to abandon its practice.
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Prior to 1996, state primarily used the death penalty, but in that year Congress stipulated that many federal crimes merited the death penalty. Federal prosecutors have sought the death penalty in a case in Massachusetts, one of the states that does not execute murderers.
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Capital punishment also known as the death penalty is the brutal ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime which might be murder or treason....
BBC - Ethics - Capital punishment: Introduction
But the issue of the execution of innocent persons is also a problem for the retribution argument - if there is a serious risk of executing the innocent then one of the key principles of retribution - that people should get what they deserve (and therefore only what they deserve) - is violated by the current implementation of capital punishment in the USA, and any other country where errors have taken place.