Changing Tides for Capital Punishment

Changing Tides for Capital Punishment. Over 70% of countries in the world have abolished the death penalty. The trend is that the number of countries that use of the death penalty is decreasing Just over 50 countries still practice the death penalty (Links to an external site.), including America. In this group are countries like China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Somolia, and Libya. Some people predict that the death penalty in America will eventually be abolished. A review of the abolition literature for the last century makes it clear that there has been a majority will to retain capital punishment in the face of highly motivated abolishonist public leaders and organizations. However, the number of executions have dwindled due to political and legal challenges over time.

Changing Tides for Capital Punishment

In 2005, in the case of Roper V. Simmons, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty imposed on those who had committed their crimes under 18 years of age was considered cruel and unusual punishment. One of the justifications for this ruling was that we were the only country in the world that still officially sanctioned executing juveniles.

Capital Punishment may one day just come down to dollars and cents decision. Keeping people on Death Row is very expensive. (Links to an external site.) The legal challenges allowed by our laws are very expensive. Look at the data below. Considering the number of reported homicides compared to the number of actual executions, you can see that they death penalty process is not very effective.

Data: Average Annual Estimate for the decade of the 1990’s.

22,000 Criminal homicides reported.
15,000 Arrests reported for persons charged with criminal homicide.
13,500 Number of homicide cases actually prosecuted.
10,000 Number of homicide convictions.
2-4,000 Death-eligible defendants.
300 Number sentenced to death.
55 Number actually executed.

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