This article examines the moral and practical arguments supporting the death penalty in an effort to show why the United States should join other Western nations in the abolition of the death penalty. First, this article explores the historical context of the death penalty in the United States and examines the current status of constitutional doctrine on the death penalty. Next, because an analysis of the arguments for and against the death penalty are invariably charged with moral issues, an effort will be made to examine the moral aspects of the death penalty. The arguments offered in support of the death penalty will then be scrutinized to determine which arguments are sound, and those which are not, given the constitutional and moral context in which they are made. Finally, an effort will be made to determine which constitutional arguments remain viable to challenge the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Thomas J. Walsh,
On the Abolition of Man: A Discussion of the Moral and Legal Issues Surrounding the Death Penalty,
44 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol44/iss1/4