Death Penalty and Morality

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DEATH PENALT AND MORALITY Capital Punishment is the legal infliction of the death penalty. In the United States capital punishment is legal in thirty-nine of the fifty states. Beginning in 1973, prison populations began an inevitable growth. There were 204,211 inmates in 1973, and by 1977 the number of prisoners had grown to 285,456, which later grew to 315,974 in 1980. By 1976, it was clear that the death penalty had to be reinstated. America's twenty-one year experiment with capital punishment has resulted …

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…rejected a challenge to capital punishment based on statistics that indicated racial bias in sentencing. In separate decisions in 1989 the Court decided that the death penalty could be applied to those who were mentally retarded or who were underage, but at least 16, at the time of the murder. In the early 1990s the trend of Supreme Court rulings was to cut back on the appeals that Death Row inmates could make to the federal courts.