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Capital Punishment A deterrent to violent crime

Capital punishment is perhaps the most widely debated issue of
criminal justice in the United States.Many are for this punishment,
citing as their primary reason that it is a deterrent for violent crime.
Others argue that inadequate police investigation and court representation,
as well as general unfairness in administering the punishment, precludes
the deterring factor.Life imprisonment has been cited as an equal, yet
less barbaric, punishment for capital crimes.Support for the death
penalty has dropped drastically in the last few decades.While the
majority still supports the punishment, several issues should be considered
carefully before jumping at capital punishment as the maximum solution to
Studies cited by Grant show that the capital punishment system is
often far from fair in terms of minority groups and the poor.Statistics
from the 1920s to the 1960s for example show that unpopular groups such as
the poor and Negroes are disproportionate recipients of the death penalty.
This was especially the case when victims of murders or rape were white.
The Supreme Court thus found the punishment too severe in the light of the
fact that life imprisonment was an equally severe option.
In terms of the poor, an innocent defendant without the funds to
afford the same representation as the rich, is more likely to be convicted
unfairly.In most such cases there would not be any further investigation
into the authenticity of submitted evidence.The entire justice system
then disadvantages those without adequate funds to afford the best
Grant emphasizes the need to identify the goal of the justice system
in order to determine the adequacy of its manifestations.The heart of the
debate over the capital punishment issue thus lies in the purpose of the
justice system as defined by the debaters.Grant states that the majority
of Americans sees the justice syste…

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