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Home Issue Index Issue: Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Issue Overview: Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the legally sanctioned killing of a convicted criminal. Methods of execution include hanging, beheading, burning, firing squad, and electrocution. In the United States today, most executions take place by the lethal injection of deadly drugs. View Issue Overview and Video

Pro/Con Articles

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

The death penalty is a humane method of punishing brutal killers by granting them a quick and painless death. Public opinion supports capital punishment, and banning it would be an undemocratic act.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

The death penalty is a flawed punishment method because it is irreversible, and innocent people have undoubtedly been put to death for crimes they did not commit. Life imprisonment is a far more humane method of punishing convicted killers.

SUPPORTERS ARGUE

Affirmative action allows universities and other organizations to maintain diversity, which helps break down racial barriers and better reflects an integrated world. Affirmative action is also necessary to "level the playing field" for minority groups following centuries of discrimination. Ending affirmative action programs would halt some of the advances that minorities have made.

OPPONENTS ARGUE

Affirmative action merely turns the tide of discrimination against nonminorities and worsens race relations in the country. It is unfair and unconstitutional to give people systematic preference based on the color of their skin or their gender. Furthermore, affirmative action actually threatens to hurt minorities, by leaving their academic and professional achievements open to question.