Capital punishment or the death penalty is the subject of intense debate in the United States. Since 1976, the year the United States Supreme Court reinstated this punishment, more than 1,300 people have been executed. Texas and Oklahoma are the two leading states that practice this punishment. Most of the states that execute individuals use lethal injection, itself a controversial form of execution. Electrocution, death by firing squad and hanging are seldom used. The federal government also has the power to execute individuals. Individuals who argue in favor of capital punishment contend that it acts as a deterrent to violent crime. They also contend that the state has a moral obligation to execute murderers. They further contend that capital punishment is constitutional. Those against the death penalty argue that it is immoral. No judicial system should condone state run execution. They also contend that capital punishment can lead to the deaths of innocent persons and that it is an example of institutional racism. They question if it actually deters violent crime. Life without parole, many argue, should be the punishment. They also note that many Western countries have abolished the death penalty. They argue that it is unconstitutional.
The PCCC Library has a good collection of print and eletronic books on capital punishment and the death penalty. They can be found under the call numbers HV 8694 and HV 8699. Titles include:
"Capital Punishment" Current Controversies Series HV 8694 .C284 2005
"The Death Penalty" Opposing Viewpoints Series HV 8694 .D3824 2002
"Capital Punishment" CQ's Vital Issues Series HV 8699 .U5 G66 2002
"Capital Punishment: A Reader" HV 8694 .C285 1998
"Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime?" HV 8699 .U5 D645 2003
"Capital Punishment" Global Viewpoints Series HV 8694 .C2845 2010
go to www.pccc.edu/library click on Library Catalog Be sure to search for PCCC books by using the drop down box.
Always consult with a reference librarian if you have questions.