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Losing Faith In Government

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1st hour-Losing Faith In Gov -Washington’s dysfunctional political climate not only makes it harder for Congress to pass sound economic policy. It also means that whatever policies Congress manages to pass may be ineffective anyway, since Americans have lost so much confidence in their government’s ability to help.Americans’ confidence in their government is at historic lows, according to a Gallup poll.A poll of 1,017 adults, conducted in early September, found that 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed, the highest share since the question was first asked in 1972.Americans estimate that the federal government waste 51 cents of every dollar, the highest number on record since that question was first asked in 1979. (Because the margin of sampling error was plus or minus four percentage points, however, that is not a statistically significant difference from last year’s poll, when Americans said 50 cents of every dollar the government spent was wasted.)

2nd hour-When the Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty 35 years ago, it did so provisionally. Since then, it has sought to articulate legal standards for states to follow that would ensure the fair administration of capital punishment and avoid the arbitrariness and discrimination that had led it to strike down all state death penalty statutes in 1972. The court’s 1976 framework for administering the death penalty, balancing aggravating factors like the cruelty of the crime against mitigating ones like the defendant’s lack of a prior criminal record, came from the American Law Institute, the nonpartisan group of judges, lawyers and law professors. In 2009, after a review of decades of executions, the group concluded that the system could not be fixed and abandoned trying.

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