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A History of the Death Penalty

a history of the DEATH PENALTY The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues worldwide. Whether you agree or disagree with it, here are some facts and figures you should know. EARLY 1800s 1608 1632 States begin to build prisons and cut back on the number of their capital crimes. Captain George Jane Champion is the first woman executed (for unknown reasons) in the Thirteen Colonies. Kendall is executed for spying for the Spanish, the first execution in the 1846 Thirteen Colonies. 1924 1966 1930s Michigan abolishes the death penalty for all crimes except Cyanide gas becomes a method Allied nations abolish or limit their use Executions average 167 per year, the highest in American history. 1977 O treason, Death penalty support hits an of the death penalty, all-time low. of execution. influencing the U.S. 1976 Oklahoma adopts lethal injection as a form of execution. 1972 The death penalty is reinstated. The Supreme Court suspends the death penalty. executions since 1976 by METHODS USED 157 11 3 1,085 Firing Squad Hanging Gas Chamber Electric chairs shock people with 500 to 2,000 volts. Lethal injections usually contain: sodium thiopental (causes deep sleep), pancuronium bromide (paralyzes lungs) and potassium chloride (stops heart). 100 98 executions 90 80 70 since 1976, number of 60 TOTAL EXECUTIONS 50 40 30 20 10 WHERE IT'S APPLIED IN THE UNITED STATES 470 States with death penalty States without death penalty Number of executions by state since 1976 other 2% hispanic 7%O in death penalty cases RACE OF DEFENDANTS EXECUTED white 56% black 35%O CONTROVERSY Over the years, many have argued for and against the death penalty, voicing some of these opinions: PROS CONS the death penalty is a deterrent to criminals who may be considering committing a capital offense 88% of criminologists say the death penalty has no effect on homicide rates with the accuracy of modern forensics and DNA testing, it's unlikely for an innocent person to be executed many defendants have been proven innocent after being executed the death of a criminal gives closure to their victims and their families in many states death penalty cases cost taxpayers more than non-capital cases, including life incarceration a prison sentence gives criminals a chance of parole, but capital punishment means there is no chance that the criminal will commit another crime the death penalty is a "cruel and unusual" punishment that diminishes human values causes of WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS snitch government misconduct false confessions errors from eyewitness error, confusion or faulty testimony given for mishandled evidence or use of unqualified "experts" caused by mental from police and prosecution memory illness or retardation a reduction or from police torture in sentence Since 1973, more than 130 people have been released from death row due to death row EXONERATIONS additional evidence and scientific improvements like DNA testing. 12 12 exonerated This has caused some 10 to question the use of the death penalty. 4. CRIMINALeJUSTICE information provided by: DEGREESGUIDE sources: I I 600Z 1985 1983 LO7 | LL61 L861

A History of the Death Penalty

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The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues in the world. This infographic presents the facts and numbers behind it.


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