In the United States, an earlier move to eliminate capital punishment has now been reversed and more and more states are resorting to capital punishment for serious offenses such as murder (http: //www. The arguments for and against death penalty started with the legal issues concerning the U. Supreme Court’ s decision in Furman vs. During this trial it has been argued that capital punishment is a law that is evidently "arbitrary and capricious. " Racial bias is one of the strongest arguments for the ‘ arbitrariness’ of the death penalty (http: //justice. As a result of the case of Furman, an estimated 600 death row inmates sentenced to death penalty have been lifted during the years 1967-1972.
However, the law was studied and revised again thereby continuing the increase in the number of death penalty cases. The revised law is of two categories, namely (http: //justice. Provision for guided discretion which was upheld by the Supreme Court in three related cases: Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U. 153 (1976), Jurek v. Texas, 428 U. 262 (1976), and Proffitt v. Florida, 428 U. Under the new death penalty laws, the first execution in the US happened in Utah on 17th of January 1977, where Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad.
The number of prisoners sentenced for execution dramatically increased in the years that followed. This was why in the year ending 1996, 3,219 prisoners convicted of murder, were sentenced to death penalty, including 3,208 in 34 states and 11 under federal jurisdiction (http: //justice. Today, death penalty or capital punishment is virtually abolished in all of Western Europe and most of Latin America. America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (except Israel) retain the death penalty for certain crimes and impose it with varying frequency (http: //www. Shooting and hanging are the two most common methods of execution followed by beheading and lethal injection, which is becoming almost universal in America and other neighboring countries such as the Philippines and Guatemala.
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