The Death Penalty Debate

Written by Peter Kennedy

Whilerepparttar death penalty has been utilized for centuries, we continue to debaterepparttar 148638 morality and efficacy of this punishment. Many people argue thatrepparttar 148639 death penalty acts as a deterrent to potential murderers, terrorists, and other violent criminals. However, others findrepparttar 148640 death penalty completely incompatible withrepparttar 148641 ethical standards of modern civilization. Although some states have since outlawedrepparttar 148642 practice,repparttar 148643 US remains one of few democracies to maintainrepparttar 148644 capital punishment.

The term “capital punishment” originates fromrepparttar 148645 Latin word “caput,” which means head. Capital punishment, therefore, was a punishment reserved for serious crimes that warranted decapitation. Such serious crimes, referred to as capital offenses, are generally limited to treason and murder inrepparttar 148646 U.S. However, in different legal systems of foreign countries,repparttar 148647 death penalty may be given for a lesser crime, like robbery. The most common modern methods of execution are electrocution and lethal injection. These methods are seen as more humane than previous methods, which included use of a firing squad, burning atrepparttar 148648 stake, crucifixion, decapitation, hanging and gassing.

Even with these more “humane” treatments, many people have trouble justifyingrepparttar 148649 taking of human life – no matter how heinousrepparttar 148650 crime. The death penalty, opponents argue, is immoral. They ask, “How canrepparttar 148651 government condemn killing by killing?” To these critics,repparttar 148652 death penalty isrepparttar 148653 ultimate betrayal of human rights and it has no place in our society. Furthermore, they argue, criminal proceedings are fraught with human error, causing innocent people to be executed. Finally, opponents ofrepparttar 148654 death penalty argue that capital punishment is not an effective criminal deterrent.

The Affirmative Action Debate

Written by Peter Kennedy

Affirmative action is one ofrepparttar most controversial political issues facing America. Most often, affirmative action assists disadvantaged groups by improving placement in higher education and employment, andrepparttar 148637 term is most often conceived as a program to improverepparttar 148638 standing of African Americans. People take several stances onrepparttar 148639 issue, supporting their opinions with various justifications, such asrepparttar 148640 need for equality and natural competition. Although it was created to help advancerepparttar 148641 position of disadvantaged peoples, some view affirmative action as an unfair, and even prejudicial, force in our society.

Institutionalized in 1965 byrepparttar 148642 Johnson administration, Executive Order 11246 required that federal contractors "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." The 1964 Civil Rights Act andrepparttar 148643 1965 Voting Rights Act, both during Johnson’s tenure, helped to ensurerepparttar 148644 equal treatment of African Americans inrepparttar 148645 20th century.

Whilerepparttar 148646 Johnson administration institutionalized affirmative action,repparttar 148647 struggle for equality actually began a century earlier withrepparttar 148648 passage of important legislation. Inrepparttar 148649 late 1860s and early 1870s,repparttar 148650 13th, 14th and 15th amendments respectively abolished slavery, guaranteed African Americans citizenship and voting rights. The 1866 Civil Rights Act helped to ensure property rights for African Americans.

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