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Capital PunishmentCapital punishment is a legal right given to the government by the constitution to take away the life an offender in cases of major felonies. The term capital gets its meaning from the Latin word caput, which means head (Bohm, 2016). Originally, a number of the conducted executions involved beheading as one the most prominent ways of ending an offender’s life. Today, other means include hanging offenders such as in Texas, shooting in Oklahoma and Utah, lethal injection, and electrocution conducted by the federal government to date. In all these, the intention is to offer a severe punishment to discourage other citizens from partaking of similar crimes in the future (Bohm, 2016). Some of the crimes payable to by death include aggravated murder and any form of crime committed against the state.In the 20th century, capital punishment stood out as one of the best ways to pay for grievous offenses, particularly those that led to the loss of life of another individual. Throughout history, there have existed legal battles used by the human rights activists to tone down the punishment because they view it as dehumanizing and creating a negative notion on the value of human life (Canes-Wrone, Clark, & Kelly, 2014). The first attempt recorded is during the Trop vs Dullies in 1958, whereby the supreme court of America defined capital punishment as unusual and extremely cruel. Since then, there have been constant meetings held by different groups calling on the government to look into this matter. Currently, states such as New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico have made a significant attempt in suspending death penalty (Bohm, 2016). Due to the ongoing pressure across the country, the state of Nebraska managed to suspend capital punishment until its reinstatement by popular vote in a referendum conducted in 2015.The case labeled Kennedy v Louisiana of 2008 put the supreme court of America in the spotlight based on its ruling with regard to capital punishment. O’Neal Kennedy, a resident of the state of Louisiana, was charged with raping and sodomizing his eight-year-old stepdaughter. During his trial in 2003, the court of Louisiana ruled that he ought to have been sentenced to death, especially because defiling a minor below 12 years is punishable by death according to the constitution of the state of Louisiana (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). The accused insisted on a not-guilty plea as he claimed that the battery insisted on using the information given by two boys who resided within the same neighborhood. Despite the offer of a lesser penalty than the documented death penalty of 1995 in the Louisiana Constitution, Patrick Kennedy refused to plead guilty to the charges (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). The courts, judging by how uncommonly brutal the rape affair was, chose to sentence him to death, a decision which he chose to have closely reviewed in the Supreme Court of the United States.While at the Supreme Court, his lawyer Jeffrey Fisher sought a certiorari claiming that all offenders need similar treatment irrespective of the age of their victims. In this, Fisher stated that they all have committed a similar crime and it was imprudent to sentence one to capital punishment while the rest served jail terms (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). He proceeded further to question why the law was quick to convict so many black defendants to capital punishment more than it did to the white people. According to Fisher, the decision made against the defendant was completely irrational and needed reviewing as soon (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). Fisher, in filing the certiorari, questioned whether it was necessary to sentence a child-rapist to capital punishment. Additionally, they inquired regarding the validity of the Louisiana capital rape statute as violating the eighth amendment regarding capital punishment. The court granted the certiorari on the 4 January 2008. In its judgment, the courts ruled in favor of O’Neal, as the intention was to seek a reduction in his sentence. Basing on previous cases like the Coker v Georgia of 1977 that barred the application of the death penalty as a punishment for rape cases, and the fact that death penalty required national consensus, the court ruled in his favor. On national consensus, it is a requirement that other states should agree to the judgment based on their constitution (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). The battery confirmed that only six states, including the state of Texas that applied as amicus curiae, passed such a law. Besides, the capital rape statute of Louisiana was not in agreement with the 8th amendment; hence, their ruling thrown away. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Alito was careful to mention that basing on national consensus flawed the overall judgment. The judges saw the death penalty as a disproportionate punishment, opting that the defendant would rather have a jail term (LegalInformationInstitute, 2008). Basing on reactions from various quarters across the country, the ruling was not taken lightly since many remained convinced that the offender should have been murdered. From the information reviewed above, one can conclude that many more states should sanction capital punishment. When an individual makes a mistake, it is important to punish them with the intention of rectifying them. Conversely, capital punishment has no room for correction since it informs other citizens that the offender is beyond repair (Vaughn, 2015). Considering the case of O’Neal, the man did not deserve punishment by death because it is not equivalent to the committed crime. Although he defiled a minor, he did not take away her life and thus unwise to end his in reciprocation. Besides this, the execution of an offender only leads to the suffering of the family members, who in most cases have nothing to do with the situation at hand (Vaughn, 2015). The family, in the end, has to deal with issues of reintegration since the society is prone to commit them to prejudice. The use of capital punishment on offenders tends to demean human life by interfering with nature. From the beginning, human life remains viewed as sacred and no human can be able to come up with all that is currently in the environment. It certainly is insensible to allow another human to have the right to end the life of another (Bohm, 2016). Punishing a murderer with death is like two wrongs, which do not yield anything right. Capital punishment is in every perspective synonymous to revenge, which does not match the evolving standards of decency portrayed by a mature nation such as the United States (Vaughn, 2015). The constitution governing the federal government and the governments of every other state recognize that there is a right to live, and the same constitution cannot go against itself by legalizing capital punishment. ReferencesBohm, R. M. (2016). Deathquest: An introduction to the theory and practice of capital punishment in the United States. New York: Taylor & Francis.Canes-Wrone, B., Clark, T. S., & Kelly, J. P. (2014). Judicial Selection and Death Penalty Decisions. American Political Science Review, 108(1), 23-29.LegalInformationInstitute. (2008, October 1). Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved September 24, 2017, from Cornell University Law School: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-343.ZO.htmlVaughn, L. (2015). Doing Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues. New York: WW Norton & Company.

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