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trap heat How Capital Punishment Works In The United States

One would define capital punishment as the penalty of
death for violating a law. Roughly half the nations of the
world utilize the death penalty, while the rest eliminated
its use. The United States, an industrialized nation, breaks
the pattern that only developing countries retain capital
punishment ("Capital" Encarta 1). The United States uses
five techniques for execution: hanging, firing squad, lethal
gas, electrocution, and lethal injection (Snell 16). Of
these methods, each result in death for the prisoner in
distinct ways.
Before hanging, application of a measuring process,
based on weight, yields 1260 foot- pounds of force to the
condemned person's neck (Bobit 5). Blindfolded (McCuen 19),
the convict stands with a noosed rope or cord ("Hanging"
Encarta 1) around their neck, behind the left ear (Bobit 5).
Positioned upon a trap door (McCuen 19) of a gallows, a
frame with a crosspiece, the criminal anticipates the sudden
drop. Death can result from compression of the windpipe,
obstruction of blood flow, rupture of nerve structures in
the neck ("Hanging" Encarta 1), severing of the spinal cord
from the brain by dislocating the third and fourth cervical
vertebrae, or by asphyxiation. But if not properly
performed, strangulation, obstructed blood flow, or even
beheading could occur (Bobit 5). In the United States, only
three executions by this manner took place, as of 1996,
since 1977 (Snell 16).
From 1977 to 1996, the firing squad killed two
prisoners (Snell 16). If shot at the head from close range,
death occurs almost immediately, for "the bullet penetrates
the medulla, which contains the vital respirator and cardiac
centers, among others" (McCuen 20). Generally, a team of
five executioners take aim at the captive's chest. Some
rifles contain a blank so they don't know who really killed
the convict (Bobit 4). With the several shots fired at once,
death comes abruptly. Known as cavitation, the heat released
from the bullets evaporate tissues and water in the body,
leaving a large empty space. "When the bullet has passed
through, the cavity collapses, and sucks in dead tissue and
contaminated air" (McCuen 21).
Since 1924, when first used in Nevada, execution of
thirty one convicts by the means of lethal gas occurred
(Bobit 3). Strapping the prisoner into a chair inside an
airtight chamber takes place first. Then, by pressing a
lever outside, either sulfuric (McCuen 24) or hydrochloric
acid flows into a pan. Upon pressing another lever, either
potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide crystals fall into the
acid. This mixture creates poisonous fumes, which end life
within six to eighteen minutes (Bobit 3). If the prisoner
takes deep breaths, death advances briskly and with little
suffering ("Gas" Britannica 1). But if the captive resists
breathing, life prolongs painfully until death finally
arrives, and probably after going into "wild convulsions"
(Bobit 3).
Before electrocution, the convicts head, as well as the
rest of their body, needs to be shaved for improved contact
with the moistened copper electrodes (Bobit 2). One terminal
attaches to the calf and the other around the head (McCuen
22). After strapping the prisoner in, ordinarily three
executioners push buttons, with only one connected, so they
don't know who killed the man. Depending on the person's
weight (Bobit 2), 500 to 2000 volts run through the body
(McCuen 22) for so many seconds at a time, until the
prisoner dies. While electrocuted, many effects on the body
appear. The convict usually "leaps forward against the
restraints," then the body changes color, swells, and
sometimes even catches on fire. Defecation, urination, and
vomiting blood may take place as well (Bobit 2). The
electric chair killed 128 prisoners since 1977, as of 1996
(Snell 16).
The most frequently used process of execution in the
United States, lethal injection, killed 406 people since
1976. After strapped to a gurney, two intravenous lines
attach in the arms. The use of three chemicals contribute to
the execution: first Sodium Thiopentat causes a deep sleep,
then Pancuronium Bromide relaxes the muscles, which also
paralyses the diaphragm and lungs to end breathing, and
finally Potassium Chloride to stop the heart (Bobit 1).
These five methods of execution used in the United
States, hanging, shooting, gas chamber, electric chair, and
lethal injection, resulted in 358 deaths within only
nineteen years (Snell 16). As explained, they each end life
in different ways, whether severing the brain from the spine
(Bobit 5) or burning the internal organs (Bobit 2). So, if
your gonna' play, your gonna' pay: an eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life.


WORKS CITED

Bobit, Bonnie. Death Row. 1999.
<http://www.deathrowbook.com>.

"Capital Punishment." Microsoft Encarta
Online Encyclopedia. 2000.

"Gas Chamber." Encyclopdia Britannica.
2000.

"Hanging." Microsoft Encarta Online
Encyclopedia. 2000.

McCuen, Gary E., ... more

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Global Warming definition paper




Several issues concerning the environment are brought to the public’s attention
every year, but none has more of a direct effect on earth and its environment than global
warming.  Coincidentally it appears to be the least of the populations concern.  Global
warming is the theory that our planet is getting hotter due to an increase in the
greenhouse effect brought about by the increase of carbon dioxide and other gases in the
atmosphere.  Global warming is caused by the greenhouse gases and has several
consequences that could occur if this problem is left ignored by most of the world and
our nations leaders.  Such consequences include our planet getting hotter, melting of
large glaciers, wildlife suffering or even the inverse effect which could trigger an ice age.
With that, we should take global warming step by step and educate people about it
because most people do not even know what it is or that there is a problem.
Our earth is protected by a large ozone (o3) layer in the atmosphere which
deflects life threatening UV rays that are given off by the sun.  Without this layer we
wouldn’t be able to exist as an ecosystem and all life would go extinct.  “Greenhouse
gases, which have built up to unnaturally high levels in the atmosphere, trap heat. They
include carbon dioxide, which is emitted when fossil fuels are burned, and other gases
produced by human activity”(Watson 2).  These gases besides trapping heat, created a
hole in our ozone layer which will continue to increase in size if the level of gases remain
too high.  A hole in the ozone layer means that there is no ozone to protect us within that
given size of the hole.  Whether the hole is big or small it does have an effect on earth
which we call global warming, which in turn can have several effects on the planet.
One possible effect that can be attributed to global warming is the melting of
large glaciers.  This is serious because “The Earth’s ice cover acts as a protective mirror,
reflecting a large share of the sun’s heat back into space and keeping the planet
cool”(Mastny 1). The most dramatic reports of this come from the polar regions where
the Arctic sea ice has dropped 40% in thickness from 3.1m to 1.8m in less than 30
years(1).  The massive Antarctic ice cover which contains 91% of Earth’s ice is also
melting, with glaciers as large as Delaware breaking off of it, it has already lost ice that is
larger than Rhode Island since 1998 alone.  With the ice melted, it would spark regional
flooding and raise sea levels.  Michael D. Lemonick writes “There is a chance that global
warming could plunge us into, of all things, an ice age”(Lemonick 1).
Currently the Gulf stream  brings warm surface water in and heats  Europe
causing the water to slowly evaporate and becomes saltier.  The result is denser water
which sinks and is sent through a cycle, where then the cycle is just repeated.  But with
global warming, melting ice pumps freshwater into the northern Atlantic.  The result
would be less saltier water, hence disrupting the cycle making it unable to continue;
therefore, “shutting off” the Gulf stream.  Europe would then become very cold and the
ice or snowfall would continue to reflect the sun’s heat back into space causing the earth
The effects have also been clearly seen on animals, birds, glaciers, and other parts
of the world. Some changes noted in the USA were that “Tree swallowers are building
nests earlier in the year. A western species of butterfly is moving farther up the coast.
Flowers in Wisconsin are budding earlier in the spring”(Watson 1).  The unbelievable
part is that we are not doing much about any of this.
Dick Thompson writes “French researchers reported that heat-trapping
greenhouse gases are at their highest level in 420,000 years”(Thompson 1).  American
Geophysical Union study director John Immerwahr says “The more we talk about
warming, the more the publics concern goes down”(1).However, there has been more
than 13 million dollars spent on ads to send a message portraying a “too expensive”
problem to fix, or that there was no problem at all.  This is obviously false, if there was
not a problem than the topic would never be an issue. Environmentalists are saying that
the only way to fix this problem is by reducing the level of greenhouse gases produced
without spending too much money.  This is very possible ... more

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