The Effect of the Death Penalty

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Polls show that roughly two-thirds of Americans support the death penalty; however, the recent trend has seen a slowdown in the number of executions. In 1999, there were 98 executions in the United States, but only 46 executions in 2010. While 34 states and the federal government allow capital punishment, only 12 states actually carried out an execution in 2010 (Dieter, 2011).

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Tasks:

In this assignment, you will discuss the death penalty in your own state. Write a 2- to 3-page paper discussing the following questions:

  • Does your home state allow the death penalty? If so, please give some examples of aggravating and mitigating factors that your state recognizes. If your state does not allow the death penalty, discuss the history of the death penalty in your state and what the state offers in the alternative.
  • Describe whether your state’s policy has had any impact on crime. Include in your discussion the crime rates in comparison to the number of executions. Do you agree or disagree with your state’s policy regarding the death penalty?
  • Speculate on what you think the future holds for the death penalty in the United States. Consider the recent Supreme Court’s decisions, the groups calling for the end of capital punishment, the cost of executions, and any other factors that may influence the future. Explain your conclusions.

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