Capital Punishment - A Controversial DebatePaper Rating: Word Count: 1475 Approx Pages: 6
There has been many controversies in the history of the United States, ranging from abortion to gun control, but capital punishment has been one of the most hotly contested issues in recent decades. Capital punishment is the legal infliction of the death penalty on persons convicted of a crime. It is not intended to inflict any physical pain or any torture; it is only another form of punishment. It is irrevocable because it removes those punished from society permanently, instead of temporarily imprisoning them. There is another alternative to the death penalty and that is life-long imprisonment.
The death penalty has been imposed throughout history for many crimes, ranging from blasphemy and treason to petty theft and murder. Although capital punishment was widely accepted throughout the early United States, not everyone approved of it. In the late-eighteen century, opposition to the death penalty gathered enough strength to lead to important restrictions on the use of the death penalty in several northern states, while in the United States, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island abandoned the practice altogether (Kronenwetter 15). In 1794, Pennsylvania adopted a law to distinguish the degrees of murder and only used the deat