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Despite the fact that fewer than 120 people in the United States are sentenced to death every year, capital punishment (death penalty) still remains one of the most deeply debated and contested issues in criminal justice. To some scholars, especially those who are leery of an omnipotent government, state-sanctioned execution represents a fundamental infringement on constitutional rights where criminal justice officials are the principle actors in a theater of cruelty. Other academics, however, do not perceive that capital punishment, as it is currently practiced, poses a significant threat to either the civil liberties or the privacy interests of the majority of Americans. In fact, some scholars have even suggested that executing society’s worst offenders may actually preserve fundamental freedoms by reducing the population of habitual ...

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