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Death penalty: does the U.S. really need capital punishment?

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  1. Advocates of the death penalty and their arguments
  2. Those against the death penalty and their arguments

Capital punishment, which is the act of killing a criminal for a terrible crime, is a controversial subject in the United States. Over the course of history, public opinion has wavered on whether or not the death penalty should be administered. Decades ago in the 1970's, for example, public opinion was against the death penalty and it was even ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (Mitchell 23). This decision was overturned, however, and today many Americans agree that the death penalty is justified. Advocates for capital punishment believe that it helps deter criminals from committing murder, and those against it believe that this effect does not exist and that capital punishment is costly and ineffective. In order to more fully grasp the questions surrounding the death penalty, it is worth looking at both sides of the debate. Once both sides are properly analyzed, an individual will quickly realize that the death penalty is cruel and immoral, and that it should be abolished.

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