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Capital Punishment research paper

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Capital Punishment research paper

Capital punishment is when the law inflicts death as punishment for violating criminal law. Typically, capital punishment is used for treason, various forms of aggravated murder and large scale drug trafficking. Despite the comparatively small numbers of people who have been executed in the modern world, the issue remains a hotly debated topic. Most industrialised nations have replaced this ancient system with life imprisonment, however Japan, and the United States are exceptions to this trend. In the United States, state law controls capital punishment.


Throughout history, crucifixion, stoning, drowning, burning at the stake, impaling and beheading were the most common methods of capital punishment. Today the methods of capital punishment are lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging, and a firing squad.


The lethal injection is the most common means of execution in the United States today. It involves the inmate being secured to a gurney where a stethoscope and cardiac monitor leads are attached. Two saline intravenous lines are started and the inmate is drugged with sodium thiopental to induce unconsciousness, than pancuronium bromide (Pavulon) to stop respiration. Lastly, potassium chloride is used to stop the heart.


The rarer practise of electrocution is a visibly destructive means to burn the body’s internal organs. The inmate is restrained to an electrocution chair and then a switch is thrown. The body can catch fire as a result. The inmate sometimes defecates, urinates or vomits blood.


For gassing, the prisoner is restrained inside a hermetically sealed chamber soon to be filled with deadly gases. When the first signal is given, the pan under the chamber is filled with hydochloric acid. On the second signal eight ounces of potassium cyanide crystals are placed in the acid forming hydrocyanic acid to destroy the body’s ability to produce haemoglobin. Consequently, the body turns blue and ...

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