Last updated on: 5/21/2010 | Author:

US Department of State Biography

Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty, as administered, was unconstitutional and violated Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The decision effectively voided the death penalty in 38 states as well as in the federal system. But by 1976, enough states had rewritten their death penalty statutes to meet court concerns and it was effectively reinstated.

But the death penalty remains controversial in the United States, as elsewhere. Recent concerns have focused on the finality of the sentence, given some highly publicized mistakes made in cases involving the death penalty. DNA evidence in a number of cases cleared some convicts on death row for crimes they apparently did not commit. In the light of these developments, the Governor of Illinois has declared a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.”

“The Evolution of the Death Penalty in the United States,” (accessed May 21, 2010)


“The Executive Branch and the Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and the Secretary of State is the President’s principal foreign policy adviser. The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in shaping a freer, more secure, and more prosperous world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Commerce and the Agency for International Development. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.”

“Department Organization,” US Department of State website (accessed May 21, 2010)


“Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.”

“Bureau of Resource Management,” US Department of State website (accessed May 21, 2010)

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