Last updated on: 12/30/2019 | Author: ProCon.org

Since 1977, one year after the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of the death penalty, more than 1,480 people have been executed, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.

Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or “an eye for an eye” honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.

Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.

 

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US Federal Government Executed 13 Inmates under Trump Administration
1/18/2021 -

On Jan. 16, 2021, the federal government executed Dustin Higgs, the thirteenth and final prisoner executed under the Trump administration, which carried out the first federal executions since 2003.

US Federal Government Executed First Woman since 1953
1/13/2021 -

Lisa Montgomery, executed on Jan. 13, 2021, was the first woman to be executed by the federal government since the Dec. 18, 1953 execution of Bonnie Brown Heady, according to US Bureau of Prisons records. She was the only woman on federal death row and the eleventh person executed by the Trump administration.

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