Is Capital Punishment a Smart Form of Punishment?
What Exactly is "Capital Punishmet "?
What is the Big Debate?
Unconstitutional vs. Constitutional
On the other side of things, there are those who believe that execution is 100% constitutional. The 8th amendment states that "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted (Amendment VIII)". Whenever a method of execution has been taken to court as "cruel and unusual", the court rejects the challenge; our government continues to move to more humane ways to carry out capital punishment (deathpenalty.procon.org). Also, the supreme court states that a penalty must be proportionate to it's crime (law.cornell.edu). Therefore, if a person was charged with murder, the proportionate punishment would be for them to be sentenced to death.
What are the Statistics on People Who've Been Sentenced to Death?
- Men on death row make up about 98%, women making up 2% (Deathpenaltyinfo.org)
- Education level of death row inmates: 42% are high school graduates, 36% have anywhere from a 9th to 11th grade education, 14% have an 8th grade education or less, and only 9% have attended any college (Deathpenaltyinfo.org).
- Race of inmates executed: 55% white, 34.7% black, 8.1% Hispanic, and 1.7% other (as shown in pie chart below) (DPIC).