The Death Penalty: An Unacceptable Form of Punishment in Today's Society

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This thesis attempts to explore the question of whether the death penalty is an acceptable form of punishment in today's society. The first two chapters are devoted to a critical analysis of the two principal goals of legal punishment in modern American society upon which capital punishment is most often justified - retribution and deterrence. The third chapter focuses on the constitutional constraints imposed on the punishment of death by the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. It is these three main arguments offered by proponents of the death penalty that I now turn my attention to.

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