Offenders are sentenced for a variety of reasons; one objective is to punish the offender for his or her violation of the law, with the hoped-for residual effect of discouraging the offender from committing further crimes; however, figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that recidivism rates are very high. Another is to enhance public safety by removing offenders from the streets. Yet another reason is to rehabilitate the offender, although, as stated above, the continuing high rate of recidivism shows that this objective is rarely accomplished.
The issue of capital punishment has been hotly debated for decades. In earlier times, persons convicted of capital crimes were executed soon after their conviction. The appeals system has helped to prevent the swift )and sometimes wrongful) execution of offenders. However, the capital punishment system is still flawed; with the advent of DNA testing, many death-row inmates have been exonerated. I do not advocate the total abolition of capital punishment, but feel that all possible doubt of guilt should be established, as the wrongful execution of any person is a crime in and of itself.
I hope this is helpful.
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